Sierra Wild Flowers - Lake Tahoe
  wildflower photo    Scientific Name: Aconitum Columbianum
   Common Name: Monkshood, Wolfsbane
   Family: Buttercup
   Color: Usually a deep blue or purple, but ranges
   from the occasional white or pale pink, to light
   blue or purple also.


Description: This peculiar, hood-shaped flower consists of five petal-like sepals. The uppermost sepal curves upward and forward, forming the top of a hood. The bottom two sepals form the collar of the hood. Inside the flower is a cluster of reproductive parts and two hiding whitish petals. The flowers alternate at the top of a firm stem up to 6 feet high. The leaves are large and maple-like.

Habitat: Moist semi-shaded creek beds and banks.

Toxicity: Monkshood is extremely poisonous to livestock and humans. The name "Wolfsbane" comes from the medieval practice of poisoning darts to kill wolves.

Comments: Because the flower opening of monkshood evolved into the size of a bumblebee, the flower"s natural pollinator, monkshood will not thrive in areas without bumblebee populations.

Monkshood Flower Closeup

Wolfsbane WildFlower

Monkshood Flower