Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Aconitum columbianum
Columbian monkshood

Distribution: Occurring chiefly east of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east to the Rocky Mountains.

Habitat: Moist woods and meadows, moderate to subalpine elevations.

Flowers: June-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Apomixis, bumblebees, hummingbirds


Stout, erect perennial from a tuberous crown, the several stems 5-20 dm. tall, glabrous below and pubescent above.


Leaves alternate, cauline, long-petiolate below, becoming nearly sessile above; blades extremely variable, 5-20 cm. broad, palmately deeply 5-lobed, the segments obovate to oblanceolate, incised to toothed to nearly entire; bulblets often developed in the leaf axils.


Inflorescence a simple or branched raceme; pedicels slender, ascending; sepals 5, deep blue-purple or occasionally yellowish, the upper hood-like, 15-25 mm. high, the edges declined; lateral sepals obovate, up to 20 mm. long, lower sepals lanceolate, up to 15 mm. long; petals 2, concealed in the hood.


Follicles 3-5, 10-20 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Aconitum columbianum Nutt.
Publication: Fl. N. Amer. 1: 34. 1838.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Aconitum columbianum in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Aconitum columbianum checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Aconitum columbianum information.

E-Flora BC: Aconitum columbianum atlas page.

CalPhotos: Aconitum columbianum photos.

USDA Plants: Aconitum columbianum information.

93 photographs:
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