Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Monkshood


It is a glorious autumn day today and my monkshood (Aconitum) is blooming quite nicely. If you look at an individual flower, you can see how it does look like a medieval monk's hood. Caution: monkshood is poisonous! It's also known as wolfsbane. Legend has it that wolfsbane was added to ground meat and thrown as bait to kill wolves. Must be how it got the reputation for keeping werewolves away as well. From Rodale's: "Greek legend says that aconite grew on the hill of Aconitus where Herecules fought with Cerebus (the three-headed dog that guards the entrance of Hades) and from this raging dog's mouths fell foam and saliva onto aconite, giving this plant its deadly poison."

3 comments:

Tina Sams said...

heh heh - one of our first customers at the renaissance faire years ago asked for aconite. He said he needed it for his upcoming nuptuals, that it was an herb special to his family. I've heard that monkshood was also used to knock off Cardinals, so that monks might climb the ladder of success.

Allison Ann Aller said...

Monkshood is a title (I think) of one of the Cadfael mysteries by Ellis Peters. It was used as the murder weapon!

Betty said...

I love the Brother Cadfael mysteries! Yes, he made a rub for the soldier's shoulder, right? And someone messed with the potion? Beware! Ahoooowww!