Monk's Hood

Asked June 21, 2015, 2:59 PM EDT

If monk's hood can be so deadly why is it so readily available? I wish to buy some but have been turned off by internet sites which call it one of the top ten most poison plants on the planet. I wish to know if what I am reading is exaggerative and if common sense handling is all the plant needs.

Middlesex County Connecticut

1 Response

A huge number of plants in the landscape are "toxic," including daffodils and yews. Sometimes this means eating parts will cause indigestion--other times death. Monkshood must be ingested to be toxic. But, it is highly toxic and can cause death if enough is eaten. (It's also used in some herbal remedies, oddly enough.)

So, common sense, as you say, should reign. If no one and no pets of yours would eat this plant, you're fine. We did see a suggestion that it not be planted near a vegetable garden where its roots could possibly get mixed in with other edible roots that look like it, such as Jerusalem artichoke.