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Purple Monkshood
This rare beauty of the Buttercup family  has coarsely toothed leaves that are 3 - 5" wide, a weak leaning stem 2 - 5' long, and a flower that resembles a monk's hood or "friar's cap". Restricted to the Southern Appalachians, this plant  is found mostly  in open locations of spruce-fir forests in wet or moist soils  at elevations above 5000'.    Blooming season includes August and September.  This beautiful specimen was photographed in August on Clingman's Dome Road (GSM).  You may also fine this plant on Mount LeConte (GSM).