Aconite plant

Aconite plant

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Aconite plant. Historical artwork of the aconite or common monkshood plant (Aconitum napellus). The plant is highly toxic, containing the chemical aconitine which rapidly triggers abnormal heart function, followed by paralysis and death. The root (upper left) is used to prepare homoeopathic remedies that soothe and relieve pain. The flowers (upper centre) are fertilised by flying insects, especially bees, allowing the seed pods (upper right) to develop. From The Instructive Picture Book or Lessons from the Vegetable World, Charlotte Mary Yonge, 1857.

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