Wild Monkshood:
Rare Find on Moist Forest Slope

By William T. Hathaway
Wild Monkshood (Aconitum uncinatum)

The Wild Monkshood (Aconitum uncinatum) is rare in Pittsylvania County. In my forty years or so of weekend roaming through the county I have run across just two sites; both sites were in the southern part of our county. These two locations were within deep shaded areas on forested slopes where constant seepage provided a moist environment. Since Wild Monkshood blooms in August through October, spider webs, ticks and mosquitoes tend to discourage most of us from tracking through low bushes and tall grasses to reach the deeper woodlands.

The roots, leaves and seeds of this species are poisonous to humans.

The date of my color slide was September 1972.


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