Saturday, 21 February 2015

Life 16 - Poisonous Plant - Monkshood (starting the applique)

A gardener collapsed and died after apparently handling a highly-poisonous plant on the £4 million estate of a wealthy businessman, a coroner has heard.

Nathan Greenaway fell ill after brushing against the deadly flower aconitum, also know
n as Devil's Helmet and Monkshood, which was growing in the grounds of Millcourt House, owned by retired venture capitalist Christopher Ogilvie Thompson and his wife Katherine.

A pre-inquest hearing was told that Mr Greenaway, 33, died in hospital from multiple organ failure.

The gardener was rushed to hospital but despite frantic analysis of his blood, doctors were unable to work out what was wrong with him and he died five days later.


  1. What beautiful work you do! I'm full of admiration!

  2. Hard to believe, they are so beautiful.

  3. Hard to believe, they are so beautiful.

  4. Annabel - please reassure me that you're studying pictures for your Monkshoods, and not the real thing!!!!

  5. Thank you for your comments everyone. They are very beautiful flowers aren't they and a lovely shade of blue. I bought a clump from the National Trust about 25 years ago, but fortunately they didn't survive long. It said poisonous on the label so I was careful, but when I found out just how poisonous they were by reading this article, my blood ran cold. I had young children at the time, so it doesn't bear thinking about the accidents that could have happened. ALWAYS wear gardening gloves. As I understand it, the chap just cut back a clump and must have wiped his eyes, nose or mouth, and a bit got into his blood stream. It only stays for a few hours, but by then the damage is done. Tragic, so spread the word! And yes, I'm using photos ltw!!

  6. Oh, and it's also called Wolfsbane, because it was traditionally used to kill wolves apparently.