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Aconitum
MONKSHOOD

Higher Taxonomy
Family: RanunculaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: BUTTERCUP FAMILY
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, woody vine [shrub], occasionally aquatic. Leaf: generally basal and cauline, alternate or opposite, simple or compound; petioles at base generally flat, occasionally sheathing or stipule-like. Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, or flowers 1. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial; sepals 3--6(20), free, early-deciduous or withering in fruit, generally green; petals 0--many, generally free; stamens generally 5--many, staminodes generally 0; pistils 1--many, ovary superior, chamber 1, style 0--1, generally +- persistent as beak, ovules 1--many. Fruit: achene, follicle, berry, +- utricle in Trautvetteria, in aggregate or not, 1--many-seeded.
Genera In Family: +- 60 genera, 1700 species: worldwide, especially northern temperate, tropical mountains; many ornamental (Adonis, Aquilegia, Clematis, Consolida, Delphinium, Helleborus, Nigella). Toxicity: some highly TOXIC (Aconitum, Actaea, Delphinium, Ranunculus). Note: Taxa of Isopyrum in TJM (1993) moved to Enemion; Kumlienia moved to Ranunculus.
eFlora Treatment Author: Margriet Wetherwax & Dieter H. Wilken, family description, key to genera
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.

Aconitum
Habit: Perennial herb from rhizome or tuber; roots fibrous or fleshy. Stem: 1--few, generally erect, generally simple. Leaf: palmately divided; segments 3--7, toothed to lobed; cauline gradually reduced distally on stem. Inflorescence: raceme or panicle, terminal, bracted; pedicels ascending. Flower: bilateral; sepals 5, petal-like, lower 2, < others, pendent, lateral 2, round-reniform, upper 1 > others, hooded, sac-like, crescent-shaped to rounded-conic or cylindric, tip generally rounded to beaked; petals 2, covered by sepal hood, long-clawed, blades generally inflated, spurred; stamens 20--50; pistils generally 3. Fruit: follicle. Seed: deltoid, generally with small transverse wings, dark brown to black.
Species In Genus: > 100 species: boreal arctic, temperate montane to alpine North America, Eurasia. Etymology: (Greek: aconiton, of unknown origin). Toxicity: Most species highly TOXIC, causing death in livestock, humans.
eFlora Treatment Author: Petra Foerster
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Citation for this treatment: Petra Foerster 2016. Aconitum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=10120, accessed on May 30, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on May 30, 2016.


Aconitum delphiniifolium
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© 2015 California Academy of Sciences
Aconitum columbianum subsp. columbianum
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© 2006 George W. Hartwell
Aconitum delphiniifolium
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© 2015 California Academy of Sciences
Aconitum columbianum subsp. viviparum
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© 2010 Keir Morse
Aconitum columbianum
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© 1991 Gary A. Monroe
Aconitum columbianum subsp. columbianum
click for enlargement
© 2006 George W. Hartwell

More photos of Aconitum in CalPhotos