Aconitum maximum subsp. maximum
Illustrator: John Myers
Copyright: Flora of North America Association
Roots tuberous, tubers distally bulbous, 20-50 × 5-20 mm, parent and daughter tubers separated by connecting rhizome usually 10-15 mm. Stem erect, ca. 3-20 dm. Cauline leaves: blade 3-divided with more than 2 mm leaf tissue between deepest sinus and base of blade, 5-20cm wide, segment margins deeply cleft and toothed. Inflorescences racemes or panicles, terminal portion often contracted and capitate. Flowers blue, purple, or occasionally bluish white, 25-50 mm from tips of pendent sepals to top of hood; pendent sepals ca. 15 mm; hood conic-hemispheric, ca. 17 mm from receptacle to top of hood, ca. 20 mm wide from receptacle to beak apex.
Phenology: Flowering summer (mid Jul–Sep).
Habitat: Meadows, thickets, and forests
Elevation: 0-300 m
Alaska, Asia (Russian Far East and Japan).
Aconitum maximum subsp. maximum is a variable species. The only other species of Aconitum occurring with it on the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands is A.delphiniifolium. Aconitum maximum subsp. maximum is reputedly extremely poisonous and was used as a source of arrow poison by the Aleuts (D. E. Moerman 1986; D. E. Brink 1982).