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Aconitum carmichaelii also known as azure monkshood is a flowering plant.

Image of Aconitum Carmichaelii plant at Google

Aconitum carmichaelii which is also known as azure monkshood is a flowering plant and a species of monkshood (also called wolfsbane). It is native to East Asia like in China and Japan. This plant grows up to a height of 2 to 3 feet tall and can grow even up to 4 to 5 feet. It is also known as traditional Chinese pinyin: Wu-tou Fu-zi in Chinese, and Torikabuto in Japanese. The plant grows 1.5 to 2.5 feet across and the stems can grow about 2 to 3 feet.

Wu tou is used as an anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, cardiotonic, analgesic, stimulant, antirheumatic, immunostimulation and vasodilator. It is a medicinal herb the root is used for circulation, restore yang and expel cold. Topically it is used as Liniment. But the whole plant is toxic. Decoction with licorice, dried ginger, or ingestion with honey greatly reduced toxicity of Fuzi.

It is used as an ornamental plant too. Its flowers are purple in color inside and light blue on the outside. The sepals are large and topmost sepal forms a hood and hence the name monkshood. The flowers are about 4 inches in length and can grow to about 10 inches. The plant blooms from early summer to late fall. The leaves are deep green and shiny and leathery. They have 3 to 5 toothed lobes and their length is about 6 inches.

The roots are tuberous and most toxic part of the plant. Aconite is the chemical that is highly poisonous alkaloid present in the plant. This plant is a food for Lepidoptera species including Dot Moth, The Engrailed, Mouse Moth, Wormwood Pug, and Yellow-tail.

Growing/Care Conditions of Aconitum Carmichaelii:
– Add compost into 6 inches of soil where planting is going to be done.
– Dig a 1/8 inch deep in the planting area.
– Space the plant 1 inch apart.
– Sow a seed in each hole and cover with soil.
– Water the seeds and keep the soil moist.
– Do not overwater the plant.
– Thin the plant to about 1 inch in about 15 inches apart.
– The planting spot should be 41 degrees Fahrenheit.
– The Germination takes about six weeks.
– The planting area should get 6 hours sunlight.
– Place the seed in early spring.
– Mulch the base to conserve moisture.
– Keep the area free of weeds.
– Divide the plant in early spring.
– The plant requires full sun or partial shade.
– The plant can tolerate acid, alkaline and neutral soils.
– The hardiness zone of USDA 3 to 8.

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