Northern Wild Monkshood (Aconitum noveboracense)
monkshood is a threatened species. Threatened species are animals
and plants that are likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future. Endangered species are animals and plants that are in danger
of becoming extinct. Identifying, protecting, and restoring endangered
and threatened species is the primary objective of the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Services endangered species program.
is the Northern Monkshood?
Name - Aconitum noveboracense
Appearance - Northern monkshood is noted for its very distinctive, blue hood-shaped
flowers. The flowers are about 1 inch in length, and a single stem may
have many flowers. Stems range from about 1 to 4 feet in length. The
leaves are broad with coarse, toothed lobes.
Range - Northern monkshood has only been found in Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, and
Habitat - Northern monkshood is typically found on shaded to partially shaded
cliffs, algific talus slopes, or on cool, streamside sites. These areas
have cool soil conditions, cold air drainage, or cold groundwater flowage.
On algific talus slopes, these conditions are caused by the outflow
of cool air and water from ice contained in underground fissures. These
fissures are connected to sinkholes and are a conduit for the air flows.
Reproduction - Northern monkshood is a perennial and reproduces from both seed and
small tubers. The flowers bloom between June and September and are pollinated
when bumblebees pry open the blossom to collect nectar and pollen.
Is The Northern Monkshood Threatened?
Loss or Degradation - Threats to northern monkshood include contamination
and filling of sinkholes, grazing and trampling by livestock, human
foot traffic, logging, maintenance of highways and powerlines, misapplication
of pesticides, quarrying, and road building.
- Some populations have been adversely affected by scientific collection.
Is Being Done to Prevent Extinction Of The Northern Monkshood?
Listing - Northern monkshood was added to the U.S. List of Endangered and Threatened
Wildlife and Plants in 1978.
Plan - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has developed a recovery
plan that describes actions needed to help the plant survive.
Research - Many northern monkshood populations are being monitored to determine
long-term population trends. Genetic studies are being conducted so
population differences can be better understood.
Protection - A variety of government and private conservation agencies
are all working to preserve the northern monkshood and its habitat.
Voluntary protection agreements have also been made with some private
Can I Do to Help Prevent the Extinction of Species?
• Learn - Learn more about northern monkshood and other endangered and threatened species. Understand how the destruction of habitat leads to loss of endangered and threatened species and our nation's plant and animal diversity.
• Join - Join a local or national conservation group.
• Volunteer - Volunteer at your local zoo, wildlife refuge or nature center. Work with their staffs or other community members to maintain and restore local habitat.
• Protect – Protect water quality by minimizing use of lawn chemicals (i.e., fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides), recycling used car oil, and properly disposing of paint and other toxic household products.
• Grow Natives - Grow native plants in your lawn and garden but obtain the plants from local nurseries, do not dig up native plants from natural areas. Avoid using invasive, non-native plants in landscaping, such as purple loosestrife, shrub honeysuckles, buckthorn, and dame's rocket.
Fact Sheet revisedNovember 2007
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