Hazard Information

Route:  Ingestion     Plant Part: All

Scale:  High

Even small amounts can cause severe or fatal poisoning.



Common Name(s)

Monkshood, Aconite or Wolfsbane

Latin Name

Aconitum (Napellus)


Usually grow to about 1m (3ft) high. The leaves have three to five segments divided with irregular edges. The flowers are usually dark blue although it may vary from pale blue to purple. Each flower head is "helmet" or "hood" shaped, with upper segments curving down over the lower ones.


All parts of the plant are poisonous if eaten.


This plant is extremely poisonous. Even small amounts can cause severe or fatal poisoning. After contact the mouth and throat will experience a burning sensation, followed by hot and cold sweats, numbness, diarrhoea and vomiting, abdominal pain followed by convulsions and coma. Seek medical help immediately.

Flowering Period

July to late September although the roots are particularly poisonous in winter.


Mainly gardens, but can be seen on road sides where some varieties although not so common grow wild, especially in the south of Britain.