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Northern Blue Monkshood, Aconitum noveboracense

Northern Blue Monkshood (Aconitum noveboracense) or Northern Wild Monkshood, is a species of flowering plant found in the United States only in Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio and New York. It is commonly found on shaded to partly shaded cliffs, or on cool, streamside sites. These areas have suitable cool soil conditions. They are also found on algific talus slopes which have a cool outflow of air and water from ice contained in underground fissures. This plant is also known as Wolfsbane. This plant is listed as a threatened species by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Northern Monkshood is noted for its very unique, blue hood-shaped flowers. The flowers are about 1 inch in length, and many flowers may be clustered on one stem. The stem ranges from one to four feet in length. The leaves are broad with coarse, toothed lobes. This is a perennial plant and it reproduces from both seed and small tubers. The flower blooms between June and September and is pollinated when bumblebees pry open the blossom to collect nectar and pollen.

Threats to this plant include contamination and filling of sinkholes, grazing and trampling by livestock, human foot traffic, logging, maintenance of highways and power lines, misapplication of pesticides, quarrying, and road building. Some populations have also been affected by scientific collection of this plant. It is also listed as threatened by the US List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (1978). These plants are being studied and monitored to see what best plan of action can be taken to preserve the species from extinction. Some private landowners have made efforts to protect the species on their land as well.

Northern Blue Monkshood Aconitum noveboracense


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