Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
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Dieter H. Wilken, except as specified

Annual, perennial herb, sometimes aquatic
Leaves generally basal and cauline, generally alternate, simple or compound; petioles at base generally flat, sometimes sheathing or stipule-like
Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, or flowers solitary
Flower generally bisexual, radial; sepals generally 5, free, early deciduous or withering in fruit, generally green; petals 0–many, free; stamens generally 10–many; pistils 1–many, ovary superior, chamber 1, style 1, generally ± persistent in fruit as beak, ovules 1–many
Fruit: achene, follicle, berry, or utricle-like, 1–many-seeded
Genera in family: ± 60 genera, 1700 species: worldwide, especially n temp, tropical mtns; many ornamental (Adonis, Aquilegia, Clematis, Consolida, Delphinium, Erianthis, Helleborus ), some highly TOXIC (Aconitum, Actaea, Delphinium, Ranunculus )
Reference: [Duncan & Keener 1991 Phytologia 70:24–27]



Perennial from rhizome or tuber; roots fibrous or fleshy
Stems 1–few, generally erect, generally simple
Leaf generally palmately lobed; deep lobes 3–7, toothed to lobed; cauline gradually reduced upward
Inflorescence: generally raceme, terminal, bracted; pedicels spreading to upcurved
Flower bilateral; sepals 5, petal-like, upper 1 > others, hooded, generally enclosing upper 2 petals and stamens, tip generally rounded to beaked; petals 2–5, upper 2 clawed, blades generally inflated, tip spurred, lower 3 << sepals, scale-like, or 0; pistils generally 3
Fruit: follicles
Seed angled or winged, dark brown to black
Species in genus: ± 100 species: temp North America, Eurasia
Etymology: (Greek: ancient name)
Reference: [Brink 1980 Amer J Bot 67:263–273]
Most species highly TOXIC, causing death in livestock, humans.


A. columbianum Nutt.

Plant 3–15(20) dm
Stem erect, less often reclining or twining above; upper axils (including inflorescence) with deciduous bulblets or not
Leaf 3–17 cm, 5–14 cm wide; deep lobes 3–5, wedge- to diamond-shaped, toothed to irregularly cut or lobed above middle
Inflorescence 5–55 cm, open
Flower: sepals deep bluish purple or white to yellow-green, upper 10–15(20) mm, beak 3–8 mm, lateral 8–18 mm, round to reniform, lower 7–12 mm, lanceolate to ovate; upper petals blue to whitish, spur < blade, lower petals 0
Fruit glabrous to puberulent, glandular or not
Chromosomes: n=8
Ecology: Streambanks, moist areas, meadows, coniferous forest
Elevation: 600–2900 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California (except North Coast), Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada, Modoc Plateau, n East of Sierra Nevada (Sweetwater Mtns)
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, South Dakota, New Mexico
Flowering time: Jul–Aug
Synonyms: A. geranioides Greene, A. leibergii Greene
Plants with bulblets (KR, n SNH) have been called var. howellii (A. Nelson & J.F. Macbr.) C.L. Hitchc. [A. hanseni Greene, A. viviparum Greene]
Horticultural information: WET, DRN: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18; DFCLT.

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bioregional map for ACONITUM%20columbianum being generated
N.B. The distribution depicted here differs from that given in The Jepson Manual (1993)
YOU CAN HELP US make sure that our distributional information is correct and current. If you know that a plant occurs in a wild, reproducing state in a Jepson bioregion NOT highlighted on the map, please contact us with that information. Please realize that we cannot incorporate range extensions without access to a voucher specimen, which should (ultimately) be deposited in an herbarium. You can send the pressed, dried collection (with complete locality information indicated) to us (e-mail us for details) or refer us to an accessioned herbarium specimen. Non-occurrence of a plant in an indicated area is difficult to document, but we will especially value your input on those types of possible errors (see automatic conversion of distribution data to maps).

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Aconitum columbianum
Retrieve dichotomous key for Aconitum
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
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