Aconitum lycoctonum ssp. septentrionale

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image Both links below: Swedish Museum of Natural History

Distribution in Scandinavia.
Distribution in northern hemisphere.

Aconitum: derives from the Greek word akoniton (invincible), a name of a poisonous plant kept by Xenophon.
Lycoctonum:
lykos (wolf) and ktonos (murder), i.e. wolf poison.
Septentrionale: 'northern'.

The twelfth and final labor of Hercules was to bring up Cerberus, the guard dog of hell. He did it at Akonitus, and where Cerberus drooled, the aconitum sprung up.

ssp. septentrionale is found in Siberia, central Asia and northern Scandinavia.

The root was boiled or pulverized and used against all kinds of vermin; lice, flies and wolfs. ssp. vulparia is called Wolf-bane in Britain. This plant is poisonous and you shouldn't even touch it too heavy handedly. It has been used as an analgesic, pain-reliever, and the Inuits used it as arrow poison.

Flowers: July - August

References:
Swedish Museum of Natural History: Aconitum lycoctonum L. (only in Swedish)
Wikipedia: Xenophon
Den Nya Nordiska Floran (Mossber, Stenberg p.166)
Kuriosa om Fjällväxter (Lidh, p.74)
Botanical Latin (Stern, p. 492)

These photos were taken in:

Kvikkjokk - Njunjes (Tarra valley, Swedish Lapland)

Follow the link to see more flowers from the same area, and photos showing the nature and hiking trail.

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