Blue iron hat

Blue iron hat

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SurnameImage: Blue iron hat
Latin name: Aconitum napellus
Other names: Poison, wolf, wolf poison, goat death
plant family: HahnenfuЯgewchsse
Number of species: about 350 species
circulation area: Central Europe
original distribution area: Siberia
Location of the plant: sunny,
Blдtter: arranged alternately, oblong, dark green
Frьchte: ?
Blьtenfarbe: blue, dark purple
Blьtezeit: July - October
Hцhe: 0.5 - 2m
Older: perennial plant
use: Ornamental plant
characteristics: highly toxic

Plant information: Blue Ironhut

Of the Blue iron hat or Aconitum napellus belongs to buttercups and is related to wild larkspur. This herbaceous perennial reaches growth heights of up to two meters and is considered the most poisonous plant in Europe, which earned her colloquial terms such as "Wolf poison" or "goat death".
Originally based in Siberia, the Blue Iron Hat spread in many parts of Europe and also reached America. It grows in high and cool mountainous areas and in the Alps and needs a nutrient-rich and calcareous soil. The plant prefers sunny or partially shaded locations in moist meadows, forests or near streams.
On the bare and vigorous stalk grows dense foliage consisting of alternate, divided leaves of dark green color, which appear silvery at the bottom and remind of their shape on hands. The dark purple flowers, which look like little helmets, sit on up to fifty centimeters long panicles and attract mainly bumblebees for Bestudubung. They appear from July to October and develop after the flowering time about one to two centimeters long fruits. The wild species also produced cultivated forms with pink or white flowers.
All plant parts, but especially the root and the seeds contain the highly poisonous alkaloid Aconitin. This fact was already known to the ancients, whereby the Blue Iron Hat was used as a murder poison.
Today, the active ingredients extracted from tubers and herbs are used in the manufacture of special ointments that are said to relieve nervous, sciatic and muscular pains, as well as gout and lumbago. In addition, the extracts of the plant are used in homoeopathic preparations, which are taken against colds and diseases of the upper respiratory tract in the initial phase and should stop the further course of the disease.
Aconitin has the ability to penetrate through the mucous membranes as well as through the intact skin surface into the organism, leading to prickling and numbness on the body parts that have come into contact with it. If treatment fails, the deadly poison causes cardiac arrest or circulatory collapse within an hour, eventually paralyzing the respiratory muscles.
Despite the danger posed by this plant, the Blue Iron Hat is often cultivated in gardens and used as a cut flower because of its exceptionally beautiful flowering stems. It should be noted, however, not to place vases in the vicinity of dining tables as the highly poisonous seeds could get into food. Already three to six milligrams of the alkaloid aconitine can be a lethal dose for an adult. We therefore strongly recommend against using this plant!


This information is for scholastic work only and is not intended to identify edible or inedible plants. Eat or Never use found plants or fruits without appropriate expertise!

Pictures: Blue Iron Hat