Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Aconitum columbianum Nutt.
- Family: Butter-cup (Ranunculaceae)
- Flowering: June-August
- Field Marks: This species is distinguished by its hood-like upper sepal that is purple like the petals and its palmately lobed leaves.
- Habitat: Wet meadows, moist woods.
- Habit: Perennial herb with a thickened rootstock and fibrous roots.
- Stems: Upright, usually rather stout, up to 6 feet tall, smooth to hairy, the hairs sometimes glandular.
- Leaves: Basal and alternate and cauline, palmately divided into 3-7 lobes, up to 4 inches long, sometimes wider than long, smooth or hairy, the lobes toothed or more deeply cut;
basal leaves with a stalk up to 10 inches long; uppermost cauline leaves sessile.
- Flowers: Several in usually uncrowded racemes; racemes up to 10 inches long; flower stalks up to 1/2 inch long.
- Sepals: 5, purple, usually slightly hairy, the uppermost forming a hood up to 1 1/4 inches long; lateral sepals 2, oval, up to 3/4 inch long; lower sepals 2, narrower, up to 1/2 inch long.
- Petals: 2, whitish, projecting beneath the hooded sepal and forming a coiled spur at its base.
- Stamens: Numerous, with broad filaments.
- Pistils: 3, free from each other.
- Fruits: 3 follicles, erect, smooth or hairy, up to 3/4 inch long; seeds brown to black, delicately winged.
Return to Species List -- Group 8
Next Species -- Orange-flower False-dandelion (Agoseris aurantiaca)