Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Aconitum columbianum Nutt.
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)
A usually tall, leafy plant with bilaterally symmetrical, hood-like, blue or blue-violet flowers in a showy raceme. The stems of this tuberous perennial
are usually erect, stout and 2-6 ft. tall, but sometimes are weak and reclining. The lower leaves are palmately lobed, becoming smaller upward. Showy flowers in a lax spike
are purplish-blue and hooded. Flowering starts at the bottom of the spike
and progresses upward.
A European species of Monkshood (A. napellus
), is the celebrated wolfbane of werewolf lore.
Image Gallery: 11 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug
AZ , CA , CO , ID , IA , MT , NV , NM , OR , SD , UT , WA , WY Native Distribution:
AK to n. CA, w. to the Rockies; also Black Hills Native Habitat:
Moist woods; stream banks; wet thickets USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Moist, rich soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available
Flowers attract bumblebees, hawkmoths and hummingbirds. Warning:
Plants of the genus
Aconitum are poisonous to humans and animals if ingested. Roots, young leaves, and seeds are said to be especially toxic. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a personís age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary in a plant according to season, the plantís different parts, and its stage of growth; and plants can absorb toxic substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the water, air, and soil. Conspicuous Flowers: