Barbara & Scott Earle
Sun Valley, Idaho

Columbian Monkshood
Aconitum columbianum Nutt.
var. columbianum

It is a herbaceous perennial, tall, thin plant, 2 to 5 feet tall.  The leaves are parted with radiating lobes of about 2 to 6 inches wide.  The flowers are unusually blue to purple-blue blossoms, but may be pale blue on long stalks; each with a very irregular forward projecting curved hood, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch long. Found in wet meadows, near springs, and along streams, it often grows in long patches, and ranges at elevations of 6,000 to 9,000 feet. The Columbian Monkshood blooms from the latter part of June to the first part of August.  It is located in wet meadows, near springs, and along streams, often growing in large patches. It is found throughout the Intermountain area. 

Note: All parts of the plant are poisonous. It is virulently poisonous to livestock and has caused the death of humans.  It has been determined to be dangerous both before and after flowering.  The roots are mistaken for certain edible fleshy roots. 

Medicine:  The plant is poisonous, but drugs from the plant have been used as a heart and nerve sedative.  


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