Andy's Yukon Wildflowers

Monkshood
Keno Hill, Keno City

Aconitum delphinifolium

Monkshood, copyright 2008 Andy Fyon, www.ontariowildflower.com

 

Also known as: Larkspur-leaf Monkshood, Larkspurleaf Monkshood

Habitat:  A purple-coloured perennial that stands up to 25 cm tall.  It occurs in meadows, along creeks, thickets, woods, rocky slopes, and alpine tundra from sea level to the Alpine.

Interest: This is an amphi-beringian plant that occurs on both sides of the North Pacific Bering Sea, in northeast Asia, in northwest North America mainly west of Mackenzie River, to south Alaska, Aleutian Is, and Kamtchatka. Caution: The whole plant is highly toxic. There are reports that simple skin contact has caused numbness in some people.  The poison contains an alkaloid, which paralyzes the nervous system and lowers both body temperature and blood pressure. There are reports that historic whalers used this poison to immobilize whales. The whalers put the poison on the tips of their spears, which were used to stab into the whale. The poison did not kill the whale. Rather, the poison took several days to paralyze the whale, which eventually drowned. The floating carcass would be recovered by the whalers (source).

Location: Keno Hill, Keno City, Yukon
Date: July 27, 2008

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For more information email: ajfyon@vianet.ca
URL: http://www.ontariowildflower.com/yukon_monkshood_keno.htm
© 2008 Andy Fyon
Sudbury, Ontario

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Andy Fyon

August 31, 2008

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