From the classical Greek akoniton.
Perennial herbs usually with tuberous or thickened roots, stems erect or scrambling. Leaves generally with 5-7 main lobes or leaflets, palmately veined, base generally heart-shaped. Flowers in clusters, bilaterally symmetrical. Sepals 5, petal-like and forming the conspicuous part of the flower, the uppermost helmet-like. Petals 2-10, small and concealed within the sepals but the two uppermost with long nectar-secreting spurs protruding into the helmet. Stamens numerous. Carpels 3-5, free. Fruit of follicles.
All species are poisonous and some are the source of drugs.
Mostly by seed.
The extract aconitine is used for heart ailments.
Upper perianth segment hooded or helmet-like.
About 100 north temperate species.
Source: (1997). Ranunculaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.