E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Aconitum delphiniifolium DC.
mountain monkshood (larkspurleaf monkshood)
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Patrick Williston  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #2085)

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Distribution of Aconitum delphiniifolium
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a tuberous taproot; stems erect, slender, 10-120 cm tall, smooth to nearly so below, spreading recurved-hairy above (in inflorescence).
Mostly stem leaves, alternate, stalked, 3-15 cm wide, palmately divided to base (or sometimes nearly so) into 5 segments, the margins cleft into narrow, linear-oblong lobes.
Inflorescence a terminal, 3- to 15-flowered, open raceme, the flowers bilaterally symmetric, usually blue or purple, sometimes greenish-purple, yellowish, or white, 20-40 mm long from tips of lower sepals to top of hood; flower stalks slender, ascending; petals 2, distinct, concealed in hood, long-clawed, spurred at apex; sepals 5, the lower 2 flat, 9-20 mm long, the lateral 2 round kidney-shaped, the upper sepal (the hood) somewhat sac-like, crescent-shaped to hemispheric, beaked, 10-24 mm long from receptacle to top of hood, 13-30 mm wide from receptacle to beak tip; pistils 3 (-5).
Follicles, 3 (-5), 15-25 mm long, smooth to sparsely hairy; seeds about 3 mm long, longitudinally winged, with many transverse, membranous baffles.
Highly toxic, especially roots and seeds, causing death in livestock and humans.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic meadows, thickets, streambanks, tundra and open forests from the montane to the alpine zones; frequent in BC north of 53degreeN; amphiberingian, N to AK, YT and NT, E to AB; E Asia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Aconitum delphiniifolium

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 6 1412 2440
Slope Gradient (%) 0 22 300
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 169 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(3), BAFA(208), BWBS(62), CMA(2), CWH(1), ESSF(218), ICH(7), IDF(1), IMA(2), MH(17), MS(4), SBS(59), SWB(201)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is alpine tundra & boreal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Aconitum delphiniifolium subsp. delphiniifolium DC.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References