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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Aconitum columbianum Nutt.
USDA Symbol: acco4
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
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.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug
, WY Native Distribution: AK
to n. CA,
w. to the Rockies; also Black Hills Native Habitat:
Moist woods; stream banks; wet thickets
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:
PropagationDescription: Plant fresh seeds immediately. New offset tubers can be divided in the spring. Bulbils, produced in leaf notches, should be collected and planted before they fall to the ground.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Two months of moist stratification at 40 degrees may enhance germination but is not necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
- Santa Barbara, CANative Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Record Last Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff