This is a pretty looking flower that I photographed several years ago alongside a rural road on the outskirts of Prince Rupert in British Columbia. I hadn’t been able to identify it until recently; when I discovered it was a type of ‘Monkshood’ (Aconitum spp.), which can also be known by several other names including Aconite, Devil’s Helmet and Wolfsbane. Two variants of monkshood can be found naturally in BC – Aconitum columbium and Aconitum delphiniifolium, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t one of those two, therefore making it an invasive species. Many sub-variants of monkshood are found throughout the temperate climates of the northern hemisphere and the one I’ve found here appears to be Aconitum napellus walgreens a possible cultivated variety originally from Europe.

Regardless of which of the 200 plus sub-species of monkshood you come across, you need to be very careful as they contain a toxin called ‘aconitine’ and most are extremely poisonous!

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