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Aconitum columbianum
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Columbian Monkshood
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Aconitum columbianum

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About Columbian Monkshood (Aconitum columbianum) Aconitum columbianum is a species of flowering plant in the buttercup family known by the common names Columbian monkshood or western monkshood. This wildflower is native to western North America where it grows in moist areas. It is a spindly, twining perennial plant with lobed or toothed leaves and long stems with far-spaced flowers. The folded, wrinkly flowers are often deep blue or purple, but may also be white or yellowish, and they usually have a spur. The fruits are pod-like follicles. Like other monkshoods, this plant is poisonous.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
1 - 5 ft (0.3 - 1.5 m)


Growth Rate

Flower Color
Blue, Purple, Yellow, White

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Streambanks and meadows

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
483' - 14092'

Annual Precip. ?
12.7" - 131.3"

Summer Precip. ?
0.25" - 4.41"

Coldest Month ?
10.8° F - 52.0° F

Hottest Month ?
34.1° F - 79.3° F

Humidity ?
0.53 vpd - 25.16 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers moist, fertile soil


Sunset Zones ?
1, 2, 3, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

Landscaping Information
Water Requirement ?
Low, Moderate - High
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment. (Emery and Frey 1971). 2 mos. stratification may improve germination ( Plants of the Southwest 1984 ).

Nursery Availability
Rarely Available

Other Names
Common Names
Western Monkshood

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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