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Any member of two genera of perennial herbaceous plants of the buttercup family: Aconitum (monkshood or wolfsbane), consisting of summer-flowering poisonous plants, and Eranthis (winter aconite), consisting of spring-flowering ornamentals. The dried tuberous root of A. napellus was formerly used as a sedative and a painkiller.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on aconite, visit Britannica.com.