I’ve seen monkshood in the (high) Sandias only once or twice before — it’s definitely not something I see every year. I stumbled upon it today in a couple of areas high up in the Sandias, two of which were very close to where I saw the calypso orchids in June. I never knew until I looked it up today that a) it’s quite poisonous; b) other names for it include wolfsbane, devil’s helmet, and queen of poisons; and c) it even shows up in the first of the Harry Potter books (in Professor Snape’s words, no less).

I do think it’s one of the very strangest looking flowers I’ve ever seen, and also one of the prettiest.

Monkshood

Monkshood / Wolfsbane / Devil’s Helmet / Queen of Poisons