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Colored monkshood (Aconitum variegatum)

Colored monkshood ( Aconitum variegatum )

Order : Buttercups (Ranunculales)
Family : Buttercup Family (Ranunculaceae)
Subfamily : Ranunculoideae
Tribe : Delphinieae
Genre : Monkshood
Scientific name

The plant genus Eisenhut ( Aconitum ), also monkshood , aconite , formerly Wolf Wurz , belongs to the family of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae).

The term monkshood is derived from the helmet-like flower shape. The blue monkshood ( Aconitum napellus ) was voted poisonous plant of the year in 2005 .


Illustration of the blue monkshood ( Aconitum napellus ) in Koehler's Medicinal Plants , Gera 1887, Volume I, No. 72
Blue monkshood flower ( Aconitum napellus )
Illustration of the poison monkshood ( Aconitum anthora )
Section through a real flower of the blue monkshood Aconitum napellus.
Nectar leaves of the blue monkshood in a helmet-shaped sepal - the nectar is only accessible to long- trunked bumblebee species
Collective fruits with follicles and seeds of the blue monkshood ( Aconitum napellus )

Appearance and leaves

In Aconitum TYPES is mostly perennial , or pseudoeinjährige, rarely annual herbaceous plants . A taproot or two or more beet-like thickened roots are formed. The stems grow upright or climbing on their own.

The foliage leaves , sometimes all arranged in a basal rosette and mostly alternately distributed on the stem, are often divided into petiole and leaf blade; where the uppermost leaves are often more or less sessile. The leaf blades are usually divided palmately with three to seven leaf sections or rarely undivided. The uppermost leaf sections are narrow-elliptical or lanceolate to linear with incised and serrated leaf margins.

Inflorescences and flowers

In terminal and sometimes lateral, up to 28 centimeters long, simple or mostly branched, racemose or paniculate inflorescences , the stalked flowers stand together over two bracts ; there may be 32 or more partial inflorescences. The bracts are similar to foliage.

The hermaphrodite flowers are zygomorphic and five-fold. The five blue, yellow or white sepals are characteristic . The two lower sepals are relatively small with a length of 6 to 20 millimeters, flat and narrowly lanceolate or oblong. The two lateral sepals are almost circular to kidney-shaped. The large, upper and 1 to 5 centimeter long, sickle, boat and helmet-shaped to cylindrical sepal includes two honey leaves (modified petals, the other six are greatly reduced or completely absent) and overlaps the two lateral sepals. The free, long- nailed honey leaves, which are cap- or tongue-shaped at the top, have capped or rolled-up spurs at their upper end that contain nectar . The many (25 to 50) fertile stamens consist of stamens widened at their base and ellipsoidal to spherical anthers. There are no staminodes . The three to five, rarely up to thirteen free carpels each contain ten to twenty ovules . The short stylus has a long shelf life.

Fruits and seeds

In Sammelbalgfrüchten several sessile sit follicles together. On the elongated follicles, clearly raised transverse nerves can be seen on the sides. At the end of each follicle there is a straight beak 2 to 3 millimeters long. The mostly relatively small seeds are delta-shaped and usually have transverse, small, membranous lamellae.

Sets of chromosomes

The basic chromosome number is x = 8. There are types with diploidy and those with polyploidy .

Health hazards

The monkshood species are among the most poisonous plants in Europe , they contain toxic diterpenes - alkaloids that are found in all parts of the plant. Essentially, these are the alkaloids aconitine , benzoylnaponine , hypaconitine , lycaconitine and neopelline , and the amino alcohols aconine , napelline , neoline and lycoctonine , which can be detected in different concentrations. In addition, some species also contain isoquinoline alkaloids or catecholamines .

The toxicity depends on the monkshood species, the site conditions and the genetic factors of the individual plant. The aconitine is quickly absorbed through the uninjured skin , and this is especially true for the mucous membranes , so that children are at risk if, for example, they play with the flowers. Touching people with delicate skin can lead to hives . Consumption of a few grams of the plant usually leads to heart failure and respiratory failure ; no specific antidote is known.

The plant name Wolfswurz originated from the use of monkshood as a wolf poison.

Systematics and distribution

Aconitum angustifolium inflorescence
Poison monkshood (
aconitum anthora )
Aconitum baicalense inflorescence
Aconitum coreanum inflorescence
Flower and flower bud of Aconitum delphiniifolium
Inflorescences of Aconitum leucostomum
Flowers and young fruits of Aconitum loczyanum
Inflorescences of yellow aconite ( Aconitum lycoctonum subsp. Lycoctonum )
Wolf's monkshood ( Aconitum lycoctonum subsp. Vulparia )
Section of an inflorescence of Aconitum moldavicum
Habit, leaves and inflorescence of the blue monkshood ( Aconitum napellus )
Habitus and inflorescence of Aconitum orientale
Inflorescence of Aconitum paniculigerum var. Wulingense
Sudeten monkshood inflorescence ( Aconitum plicatum )
Aconitum sajanense inflorescence
Blossom and young fruits of Aconitum uchiyamai
Aconitum umbrosum inflorescence
Inflorescence of the colorful monkshood ( Aconitum variegatum )

The genus Aconitum was established in 1753 by Carl von Linné in Species Plantarum , 1, p. 532. The genus Aconitum belongs to the tribe Delphinieae in the subfamily of Ranunculoideae within the family of Ranunculaceae .

The genus Aconitum is considered an Arctic genus from the Tertiary , which spread from Siberia over Europe, Asia and America, whereby the ice ages are considered to be the trigger for the vegetal migration . Around half of the 400 or so valid species occur in China (211 species, 166 of which are only there).

In Central Europe , the two species of blue monkshood ( Aconitum napellus ) and monkshood ( Aconitum variegatum ) as well as the yellow-flowered wolf monkshood ( Aconitum lycoctonum subsp. Vulparia ) are most widespread; they are under nature protection .

The genus monkshood ( aconite ) contains around (100 to 400 species, depending on the author):


Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck cl cm cn co cp cq cr cs ct cu cv cw cx cy cz da db dc dd de df dg dh di dj dk dl dm dn do dp dq dr ds dt du dv dw dx dy dz ea eb ec ed ee ef eg eh ei ej ek el em en eo ep eq er es et eu ev ew ex ey ez fa fb fc fd fe ff fg fh fi fj fk fl fm fn fo fp fq fr fs ft fu fv fw fx fy fz ga gb gc gd ge gf gg gh gi gj gk gl gm gn go gp gq gr gs gt gu gv gw gx gy gz ha hb hc hd he hf hg Li Liangqian, Yuichi Kadota: Aconitum , p. 149 - online with the same text as the printed work , In: Wu Zhengyi, Peter H. Raven, Deyuan Hong (Eds.) : Flora of China. Volume 6: Caryophyllaceae through Lardizabalaceae , Science Press and Missouri Botanical Garden Press, Beijing and St. Louis 2001, ISBN 1-930723-05-9 .
  2. a b c d e f g DE Brink, JA Woods: Aconitum - online with the same text as the printed work , In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee (Hrsg.): Flora of North America North of Mexico. Volume 3: Magnoliidae and Hamamelidae , Oxford University Press, New York and Oxford 1997, ISBN 0-19-511246-6 .
  3. ^ Aconitum at In: IPCN Chromosome Reports . Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis
  4. ^ A b c Dietrich Frohne, Hans Jürgen Pfänder: Poison Plants. A handbook for pharmacists, doctors, toxicologists and biologists. 3rd edition 1987, ISBN 3-8047-0886-2 , page 206 ff.
  5. Walther Ryff : Confect Büchlin and Hausz Apoteck. Frankfurt am Main 1544, b.2 v ("Luparia, Wolffswurtz, blawe und yellow Ysenhuetlin, a poisonous root that is used to award Wolffen and Fuechsen").
  6. ^ Aconitum at Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, accessed March 17, 2015.
  7. a b c Aconitum in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), USDA , ARS , National Genetic Resources Program. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.
  8. ^ Jean Marie Pelt: The secrets of medicinal plants , Verlag Knesebeck, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-89660-291-8 , p. 80.
  9. Eti Sharma, AK Gaur: Aconitum balfourii Stapf: a rare medicinal herb from Homalayan Alpine. In: Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, Volume 6, No. 22, pp. 3810-3817, 2012 doi : 10.5897 / JMPR11.1213
  10. a b c d Eckehart J. Jäger, Friedrich Ebel, Peter Hanelt, Gerd K. Müller (eds.): Exkursionsflora von Deutschland. Founded by Werner Rothmaler. Volume 5: Herbaceous ornamental and useful plants , Springer, Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, Berlin / Heidelberg 2008, ISBN 978-3-8274-0918-8 .
  11. a b c d Walter Erhardt , Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: The great pikeperch. Encyclopedia of Plant Names. Volume 2. Types and varieties. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart (Hohenheim) 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7 .

Historical literature

Web links

Commons : Eisenhut ( Aconitum )  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Eisenhut  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations