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.
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.
Illustration Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
||Value / Class
Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
of field plots
species was recorded in:
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)|
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Aconitum delphiniifolium subsp. delphiniifolium DC.