Aconitum napellus can be found in a variety of places.

This plant can be found in a variety of regions from hill tops to mountain bases, forests, stream banks, road sides, meadows, waste grounds, rubbish tips, to even family gardens.

Below is a map from the United States Department of Agriculture depicting where A. napellus has been found to grow naturally within the United States and Canada.

Out of North America this species of Aconitum can also be found throughout Central Europe; from England to the Carpathian Mountains, and from Portugal to Sweden.

Although A. napellus has the ability to grow in high altitudes, it generally grows in more lowland areas. As far as general surroundings, A. napellus prefers to grow in areas with rich, moist, and very fertile soil. The soil is usually also slightly acidic and often in shade. It grows more in temperate areas since it is adapted better for climates that stay less than 70 during the night time, even in summer. This is why this plant is not generally found growing in the wild much farther south than the 40 degrees north latitude line. The average precipitation in areas of high densities of A. napellus falls around the  1m range. If the climate in which a particular population of A. napellus is growing falls more to the north, then it can withstand full sunlight, but in general A. napellus prefers to be in shade, especially when further south. This helps to prevent desiccation (drying-out). 

A wide variety of different organisms are also found in the habitat of Aconitum napellus. Some of the characteristic mega-fauna (a.k.a. large and widely known organisms), are squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, badgers, bears, foxes, wolves, minks, lynx, caribou, coyote, cougar, skunks, moose, deer, shrews, voles, owls, robins, cardinals, eagles, swallows, geese, hawks, sparrows, ducks, and really all animals native to the coniferous and deciduous forests of Europe and/or North America.

This plant fits into a specific niche partially by flowering relatively late in comparison to many other flowers, waiting until mid to early summer to begin blooming. This plant also helps to provide food and nectar to various insects in the ecosystem. They are generally able to feed without being poisoned by the plant's toxin. This gives the plant many opportunities to spread out its reproductive pollen, meanwhile supporting an important part of the ecosystem.

Since the poison A. napellus makes acts largely as a neurotoxin, stimulating the sodium channels within neurons of animals, it does not have much of a negative effect on other plants whose signals are largely sent in a chemical form as hormones. This means that it still has to compete against other plants for pollinators and growing space, but it often has a general advantage over these other plants in that it has an extremely reduced list of predators due to the deadly toxins it makes. To get more detail on these toxins and how they work click here. The effects of the poison carry across almost all vertebrate animal species, so many of the animals in the ecosystem instinctively know not to feed upon it.

A. napellus plants generally grow to be about 1m tall which puts them at a perfect intermediate height that is both shaded enough by the taller plants that it stays cool and doesn’t lose unnecessary water, but also tall enough to out-compete the shorter ground cover plants that are often abundant around A. napellus grows. To learn more about how the plant uses light for energy click here.  

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