Aconitum chasmanthum from Apharwat, Kashmir

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Gurcharan Singh

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Sep 1, 2011, 11:28:28 PM9/1/11
to efloraofindia, Flowers of India, Tabish
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. 




--
Dr. Gurcharan Singh
Retired  Associate Professor
SGTB Khalsa College, University of Delhi, Delhi-110007
Res: 932 Anand Kunj, Vikas Puri, New Delhi-110018.
Phone: 011-25518297  Mob: 9810359089
http://people.du.ac.in/~singhg45/

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Balkar Arya

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Sep 2, 2011, 10:55:25 AM9/2/11
to Gurcharan Singh, efloraofindia, Flowers of India, Tabish
Beautiful Closeup!!
--
Regards

Dr Balkar Singh
Head, Deptt. of Botany and Biotechnology
Arya P G College, Panipat
Haryana-132103
09416262964
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