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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 3 | Ranunculaceae | Aconitum

5. Aconitum columbianum Nuttall in J. Torrey & A. Gray, Fl. N. Amer. 1: 34. 1838.

Roots tuberous, tuber distally not obviously bulblike, to 60 × 15 mm, parent tuber producing 1 (rarely 2) daughter tubers with connecting rhizome very short, i.e., tubers ±contiguous. Stems erect and stout to twining and reclining, 2-30 dm. Cauline leaves: blade deeply 3-5(-7)-divided, usually with more than 2 mm leaf tissue between deepest sinus and base of blade, 5-15 cm wide, segment margins variously cleft and toothed. Inflorescences open racemes or panicles. Flowers commonly blue, sometimes white, cream colored, or blue tinged at sepal margins, 18-50 mm from tips of pendent sepals to top of hood; pendent sepals 6-16 mm; hood conic-hemispheric, hemispheric, or crescent-shaped, 11-34mm from receptacle to top of hood, 6-26 mm wide from receptacle to beak apex.

Subspecies 2 (2 in the flora): moist areas, primarily in w North America, sporadic in e U.S.

Available information suggests that Aconitum columbianum is probably not one of the extremely toxic aconites (D. E. Brink 1982; J. D. Olsen et al. 1990).


Brink, D. E. 1980. Reproduction and variation in Aconitum columbianum (Ranunculaceae), with emphasis on California populations. Amer. J.Bot. 67: 263-273. Brink, D. E. and J. M. J. de Wet. 1980. Interpopulation variation in nectar production in Aconitum columbianum (Ranunculaceae). Oecologia 47: 160-163.

1 Leaf axils and inflorescence without bulbils   5a subsp. columbianum
+ Leaf axils and/or inflorescence with conspicuous bulbils   5b subsp. viviparum

Lower Taxa


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