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

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Patrick Williston     (Photo ID #2085)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Aconitum delphiniifolium
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


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)
1412 6 2440
Slope Gradient (%)
22 0 300

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

169 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 0 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
# 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)

Habitat and 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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Aconitum delphiniifolium subsp. delphiniifolium DC.