Roots slender, elongate, fascicled. Stems erect, reclining or climbing, 6-25 dm. Cauline leaves: blade 3-7-divided with more than 4mm leaf tissue between deepest sinus and base of blade, 12-20 cm wide, segment margins cleft and toothed. Inflorescences open racemes or panicles. Flowers white to cream colored, 18-30 mm from tips of pendent sepals to top of hood; pendent sepals 7-10 mm; hood conic to nearly cylindric, 15-23 mm from receptacle to top of hood, 4-12 mm wide from receptacle to beak apex. Flowering late spring-summer (Jun-Sep). Shaded ravines of woods in mountains and upper piedmont; to 1700 m; N.C., Pa., Va., W.Va. The only American species of Aconitum sect. Lycoctonum de Candolle, A . reclinatum exhibits elongate, fasciculate roots and the tall, conic-cylindric hood characteristic of that section.
Stem arising from fascicled, slender roots, slender and weak, sometimes erect and to 1 m, sometimes longer and reclining or scrambling; cauline lvs many, deeply (3)5-cleft into cuneate-obovate segments, these sharply and coarsely incised above; infl elongate, usually branched, the axis and pedicels with short, incurved hairs; fls white or ochroleucous; helmet about twice as high as long, produced above into a conic or subcylindric hood. Rich woods; mts. and upper Piedmont from sw. Pa. to W.Va., Va., N.C., and reputedly n. Ga. June-Sept.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.