IUCN Red List Status: Critically Endangered (CR)
Common name: Gaping Monkshood, Gaping Flower Aconite • Hindi: mohri, mohru, patis kauri • Sanskrit: amrta, sthavaravisa, vajranaga, vatsanabha
 
 


The whole plant is highly toxic – simple skin contact has caused numbness in some people[1].

Mountains at elevations around 4600 metres[266]
E. Asia – Western Himalayas from Chitral to Kashmir at 2100 – 3500 metres. 
Aconitum chasmanthum is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in). It is in flower in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees 
The dried root is analgesic, anodyne, diaphoretic, diuretic, irritant and sedative[4, 7, 9, 145, 165]. The root is a rich source of active alkaloids, containing around 3%[240]. It is best harvested as soon as the plant dies down in the autumn[4]. This is a very poisonous plant and should only be used with extreme caution and under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. 
 
(From PFAF  ) 

 
 

 

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Aconitum chasmanthum from Apharwat, Kashmir:  Aconitum chasmanthum Stapf ex Holmes, Mus. Report, Pharm. Soc. Great Britain 1903
syn: Aconitum napellus Hook.f. & Thoms. (non L.) ; Aconitum chasmanthum subsp. baltistanicum Qureshi & Chaudhri; Aconitum kurramense Qureshi & Chaudhri; Aconitum violaceum  var. robustum Stapf
Common names: Indian Napellus, Ban-bal-nag, Beshmolo, Mori
Tall leafy plant, up to 90 cm with ruberous root; leaves similar, though upper slightly smaller, 3-8 cm broad, cut alomost up to base into linear segments; flowers blue or purplish, in up to 30 cm long racemes; upper sepal curved back helmet-shaped, lateral oborbicular to nearly square; petals (nectaries) 2-5 with 5-7 mm long claw; carpels usually 5, follicles oblong, 10-15 mm, truncate.
Often confused with A. napellus, this species is distributed from Chitral to Kashmir at higher altitudes.
The whole plant is highly toxic – simple skin contact has caused numbness in some people. The dried root is analgesic, anodyne, diaphoretic, diuretic, irritant and sedative. The root is a rich source of active alkaloids, containing around 3%. It is best harvested as soon as the plant dies down in the autumn. This is a very poisonous plant and should only be used with extreme caution and under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.
Photographed from Apharwat, Kashmir in August, growing along forest margins.
It has also been introduced into newly developed alpine garden near Kongdor, middle stop of Gondola above Gulmarg.

 
Aconitum chasmanthum Stapf ex Holmes, Mus. Report, Pharm. Soc. Great Britain 1903
syn: Aconitum napellus Hook.f. & Thoms. (non L.) ; Aconitum chasmanthum subsp. baltistanicum Qureshi & Chaudhri; Aconitum kurramense Qureshi & Chaudhri; Aconitum violaceum var. robustum Stapf
Common names: Indian Napellus, Ban-bal-nag, Beshmolo, Mori
Tall leafy plant, up to 90 cm with ruberous root; leaves similar, though upper slightly smaller, 3-8 cm broad, cut alomost up to base into linear segments; flowers blue or purplish, in up to 30 cm long racemes; upper sepal curved back helmet-shaped, lateral oborbicular to nearly square; petals (nectaries) 2-5 with 5-7 mm long claw; carpels usually 5, follicles oblong, 10-15 mm, truncate.
Often confused with A. napellus, this species is distributed from Chitral to Kashmir at higher altitudes.
The whole plant is highly toxic – simple skin contact has caused numbness in some people. The dried root is analgesic, anodyne, diaphoretic, diuretic, irritant and sedative. The root is a rich source of active alkaloids, containing around 3%. It is best harvested as soon as the plant dies down in the autumn. This is a very poisonous plant and should only be used with extreme caution and under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.
Photographed from Apharwat, Kashmir in August, growing along forest margins.
It has also been introduced into newly developed alpine garden near Kongdor, middle stop of Gondola above Gulmarg.


wonderful yes it is Aconitum chasmanthum


Thanks Sir for this beautiful upload..the pics suggest that these are recorded from any garden..


A very important medicinal plant.

Flora of India by BSI consider it different from A.violaceum var. robustum though the TPL 2013 consider both of them as same. I still remember to have seen few large specimens of A.violaceum in Kedarnath area (4000m) which matched to A.violaceum var robustum of Flora of India but those were different from this plant. Taxonomy of Aconites in Western Himalaya is far less satisfactory and need revisionary study based not merely on herbarium specimens but also on live collections. 


Thanks … There is a small alpine garden maintained at Khillenmarg (rather near Kongdor) the first landing of Gandola at about 3000 m, just above the tree line, growing plants collected from surrounding areas. A few medicinal plants are grown here.  


Beautiful pictures. Coming to some character searching from the pictures. Bilaterally symmetric flowers.
Upper sepals hood like. These blue coloured are sepals. Underneath them will be 2 petals. Am I right?
Important aspects related to the plant have already been mentioned by you as regards poisonous nature etc. Very nice.


 

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Aconitum Sp. Photo taken at 14000′ at Ganesh Top on the way to Amarnath yatra (Aug 2013)


Looks like Aconitum chasmanthum.


Surprisingly there is no mention of Aconitum chasmanthum in FOH book by Polunin.


It is mentioned in FOH by a different name Aconitum violaceum var robustum which is a synonym of A. chasmanthum


Oh. Thanks. The picture of flowers of Aconitum are so similar except for the shade in colour. Even the leaves are also similar. Good to learn so many things.


 

 

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Aconitum (Ranunculaceae) for ID from Gulmarg, Kashmir : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (6)
Requesting ID please.


Aconitum chasmanthum I hope


Yes Sir.


 

 
 
 
 
References:

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