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Useful Temperate Plants

Aconitum violaceum

Jacquem. ex Stapf

Ranunculaceae


The genus Aconitum worldwide is notorious for complex patterns of morphologic intergradation that blur the lines between taxa. Aconites from different regions may be morphologically distinct but connected by a series of intermediate races[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
]. There have been huge differences of opinion between botanists as to how to define a species in this genus, with the Flora of N. America recognizing around 100 species worlwide[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
], whilst the Flora of China recognizes 211 species in China alone and around 400 species worldwide[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
]. We are following the proposed treatment in the 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families', which is still under review, but currently (2016) recognizes about 320 distinct species (391 including hybrids and infraspecific forms) and over 1,000 synonyms[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

+ Synonyms

Aconitum multifidum Royle

Aconitum weileri Gilli

Common Name:

Aconitum violaceum

General Information

Aconitum violaceum is a erect to ascending, herbaceous, perennial plant producing a usually unbranched stem 10 - 30cm tall. The stem grows from a biennial tuberous root that produces a new tuber each year, the old tuber dying after the plant flowers[
1051
Title
Annals of the Royal Botanic Garden Vol.10
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta
Year
1905
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical journal, this edition contains a treatment of the genera Dalbergia and Aconitum in Asia. Rather old, but a wealth of information, illustrations etc.
].
The plant is commonly harvested for its tubers from the wild - the tubers, which are known as 'Telia', are widely used medicinally and highly traded both nationally and internationally[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].
The plant is harvested for its tubers - during collection the whole plant is uprooted. It has been observed, as well as inferred, that the trend of unsustainable collection practice is continuing and more than 40% of the wild population in the Himalayan region of India had declined in the 10 years up to 2003, and that this trend has continued up to 2015The plant is classified as 'Vulnerable' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

The whole plant is highly toxic - simple skin contact has caused numbness in some people[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Another report suggests that the root of this species might not be toxic[
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
].
The aconites have been of interest since ancient times because they contain diterpene alkaloids that range from relatively nontoxic to deadly poisonous. In various parts of the world they have been used medicinally and as a source of poisons throughout history. The use of Aconitum alkaloids in modern Western medicine was largely discontinued by the late 1930's and early 1940's, though the roots are still widely used in traditional medicine, especially in Asia[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
,
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Botanical References

1051
Title
Annals of the Royal Botanic Garden Vol.10
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta
Year
1905
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical journal, this edition contains a treatment of the genera Dalbergia and Aconitum in Asia. Rather old, but a wealth of information, illustrations etc.

Range

E. Asia - Himalayas - Pakistan to central Nepal

Habitat

Shrubberies and open slopes, glacial riverine and rocky moist areas, alpine dry scrub, open grassy alpine slopes, shady moist alpine slopes, forest edges; at elevations from 3,000 - 4,800 metres[
51
Title
Flowers of the Himalayas.
Publication
 
Author
Polunin. O. and Stainton. A.
Publisher
Oxford Universtiy Press
Year
1984
ISBN
-
Description
A very readable and good pocket guide (if you have a very large pocket!) to many of the wild plants in the Himalayas. Gives many examples of plant uses.
,
38
Title
Simmons' Manual of Fruit.
Publication
 
Author
Simmons A. E.
Publisher
David & Charles; Newton Abbot.
Year
1978
ISBN
0-7153-7607-1
Description
A good guide to some of the cultivars of temperate fruits. It covers quite a wide range of fruits.
,
1051
Title
Annals of the Royal Botanic Garden Vol.10
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta
Year
1905
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical journal, this edition contains a treatment of the genera Dalbergia and Aconitum in Asia. Rather old, but a wealth of information, illustrations etc.
].

Properties

Conservation StatusVulnerable
Edibility Rating *
Medicinal Rating *
HabitPerennial
Height0.20 m
PollinatorsBees
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Thrives in most soils and in the light shade of trees[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist soil in sun or semi-shade[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Prefers a calcareous soil.
Grows well in open woodlands[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
].
All Aconitum species are prohibited for export in India if the plants have been collected from the wild. Cultivated specimens can be exported from India[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].
Members of this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits and deer[
233
Title
Perennial Garden Plants
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
J. M. Dent & Sons, London.
Year
1990
ISBN
0 460 86048 8
Description
A concise guide to a wide range of perennials. Lots of cultivation guides, very little on plant uses.
].
A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby species, especially legumes[
54
Title
How to Enjoy your Weeds.
Publication
 
Author
Hatfield. A. W.
Publisher
Frederick Muller Ltd
Year
1977
ISBN
0-584-10141-4
Description
Interesting reading.
].
A polymorphic species[
51
Title
Flowers of the Himalayas.
Publication
 
Author
Polunin. O. and Stainton. A.
Publisher
Oxford Universtiy Press
Year
1984
ISBN
-
Description
A very readable and good pocket guide (if you have a very large pocket!) to many of the wild plants in the Himalayas. Gives many examples of plant uses.
].

Edible Uses

Root - cooked[
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption.
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
]. It is eaten as a pleasant tonic[
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
,
1051
Title
Annals of the Royal Botanic Garden Vol.10
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta
Year
1905
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical journal, this edition contains a treatment of the genera Dalbergia and Aconitum in Asia. Rather old, but a wealth of information, illustrations etc.
].
The root is pure white, more or less farinaceous, with a slightly sweetish flavour that is not followed by any tingling sensation[
1051
Title
Annals of the Royal Botanic Garden Vol.10
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta
Year
1905
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical journal, this edition contains a treatment of the genera Dalbergia and Aconitum in Asia. Rather old, but a wealth of information, illustrations etc.
].
Many of the species in the genus Aconitum are highly poisonous. Any reports of edibility shoud be treated with great care, though there are enough reports different to suggest that the roots of several members of the genus are eaten safely, if only on an occasional and partly medicinal basis[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Medicinal

The entire plant is used in Tibetan medicine, it is said to have a bitter taste and a cooling potency[
241
Title
Tibetan Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Tsarong. Tsewang. J.
Publisher
Tibetan Medical Publications, India
Year
1994
ISBN
81-900489-0-2
Description
A nice little pocket guide to the subject with photographs of 95 species and brief comments on their uses.
]. It is antidote, anti-inflammatory and febrifuge, and is used in the treatment of snake and scorpion bites, contagious infections and inflammation of the intestines[
241
Title
Tibetan Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Tsarong. Tsewang. J.
Publisher
Tibetan Medical Publications, India
Year
1994
ISBN
81-900489-0-2
Description
A nice little pocket guide to the subject with photographs of 95 species and brief comments on their uses.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[
111
Title
Popular Hardy Perennials.
Publication
 
Author
Sanders. T. W.
Publisher
Collingridge
Year
1926
ISBN
-
Description
A fairly wide range of perennial plants that can be grown in Britain and how to grow them.
]. The seed can be stratified and sown in spring but will then be slow to germinate[
133
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 1.
Publication
 
Author
Rice. G. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1987
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation.
]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer.
Division - best done in spring but it can also be done in autumn[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
111
Title
Popular Hardy Perennials.
Publication
 
Author
Sanders. T. W.
Publisher
Collingridge
Year
1926
ISBN
-
Description
A fairly wide range of perennial plants that can be grown in Britain and how to grow them.
]. Another report says that division is best carried out in the autumn or late winter because the plants come into growth very early in the year[
233
Title
Perennial Garden Plants
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
J. M. Dent & Sons, London.
Year
1990
ISBN
0 460 86048 8
Description
A concise guide to a wide range of perennials. Lots of cultivation guides, very little on plant uses.
].
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2022-11-26. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Aconitum+violaceum>

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