Plant Image
Grapevine Canyon - Sue Smith

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Aconitum columbianum - Columbian monkshood

Other Common Names: blue-weed, friar's cap, western monkshood, aconite, wolfbane
Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Ranunculaceae

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Grapevine Canyon
Sue Smith
Grapevine Canyon
Sue Smith
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Perennial
General Desc: A tall, leafy, tuberous plant with usually erect, stout stems but sometimes are weak and reclining. Has showy spiked flowers. If ingested, very poisonous to livestock and humans.
Identification notes: Perennial herb with tuberous roots and tall leafy stems. Alternate leaves are simple or deeply palmate, smooth or slightly hairy. Very irregular perfect flowers are borne in loose terminal racemes; pale to dark blue in color.
Height: 3 to 7 feet


Habitat Description: Appears along mountain streams, in meadows and in rich forests. Adapted to fine, medium and coarse textured soils. Prefers moist soil conditions in shady areas.
Plant Communities: Montane Conifer Forest, Riparian
Elevation: 5000 - 9500 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Dark blue to bluish-purple     Shape: Irregular in elongated clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Jun - Sep
Description: Occasionally white. Appears in a raceme cluster with each flower 1-1/4 inches in length. Has 5 sepals that resemble petals having an upper sepal forming a hood, 2 oval side sepals and 2 narrow bottom sepals. The petals are hidden under the hood.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Dark green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Palmate     Leaf Margin: Toothed     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: To 8 inches wide. Palmate shape is divided into 3 to 5 divisions.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Black   
Fruit Type: Pod
Fruit Notes: Fruit appears as follicles about 3/4 inch long.
Seed Notes: Seeds are black and less than 1/16 inch long.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Nov 21, 2021
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