This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Tall or long, erect ascending or trailing perennial herbs, with palmately lobed or divided leaves, and large irregular showy flowers. Sepals 5, the posterior (upper) one larger, hooded or helmet-shaped. Petals 2-5, small, the two superior ones hooded, clawed, concealed in the helmet, the three posterior ones, when present, minute. Stamens numerous. Carpels 3-5, sessile, many-ovuled, forming follicles at maturity. [Ancient Greek name for these plants.]
A genus of beautiful plants including some 70 species, mostly natives of mountainous regions in the north temperate zone. Besides the following, several others are found in the Rocky Mountains and on the Pacific Coast. Roots poisonous, as are also the flowers of some species. Type species: Aconitum lycoctonum L.
Flowers blue; roots tuberous-thickened.
Helmet arched, tipped with a descending beak.
Helmet conic, slightly beaked.
Flowers white; stem trailing; helmet elongated-conic.
Slender, erect, about 2° high, leafy. Lower leaves all petioled, 3'-4' broad, nearly orbicular, deeply 5-7-cleft, the divisions obovate, cuneate, toothed and cut, acute or acuminate, glabrous, rather thin; upper leaves nearly sessile, 3-5-cleft, otherwise similar, subtending branches of the loose pubescent few-flowered panicle; flowers blue, 6" broad, about 1' high, the arched gibbous helmet tipped with a prominent descending beak about 3" long; follicles erect, 3" long, subulate-beaked.
Orange, Ulster and Chenango Counties, N. Y., and Summit County, Ohio. Reported from Iowa. Nearest A. paniculatum Lam. of central Europe. June-Aug.
Aconitum uncinatum L. Sp Pl. Ed. 2, 750. 1762.
Slender, weak, 2°-4° long, ascending or climbing, leafy. Leaves thick, broader than long, 3'-4' wide, deeply 3-5-lobed or cleft; lobes oblong or ovate-lanceolate, cleft or toothed, acute, glabrous or nearly so; panicle few-flowered, pubescent; flowers clustered at the ends of its branches, blue, I' broad or more; helmet erect, obtusely conic, acute in front but scarcely beaked; follicles 3, 6"-7" long, subulate-beaked In woods, southern Pennsylvania, south along the mountains to Georgia, west to Wisconsin and Kentucky. Ascends to 3000 ft. in Virginia. June-Sept.
A. reclinatum A. Gray, Am. Journ. Sci. 42: 34. 1842.
Trailing, 2°-8° long. Leaves 3-7-cleft, all but the upper petioled, thin, the lower 6'-8' broad, mainly obovate, acute, toothed and cleft toward the apex; simple panicle or raceme loose, pubescent; flowers white, 8"-10" long; helmet horizontal or nearly so, elongated-conic, with a straight, short beak; follicles 3, 5" long, with slender divergent beaks.
In woods, Cheat Mountain and Stony Man Mountain, Virginia, south along the Alleghanies to Georgia. Ascends to 5500 ft. in North Carolina. Trailing monkshood. July-Aug.