Roots tuberous, tubers distally not obviously bulblike, 10-30 × 5-15 mm, parent tuber producing several (ca. 5) daughter tubers separated from parent by connecting rhizomes 5-30 mm. Stems erect, reclining or climbing, 3-25 dm. Cauline leaves: blade 3-5-divided, usually with more than 2 mm leaf tissue between deepest sinus and base of blade, 4-10 cm wide, segment margins cleft and toothed. Inflorescences open racemes or panicles. Flowers commonly blue, 2.5-5 cm from tips of pendent sepals to top of hood; pendent sepals 10-18 mm; hood conic-hemispheric, 15-27 mm from receptacle to top of hood, 13-24 mm wide from receptacle to beak apex. Flowering late summer (mid Aug-late Sep). Wet areas along streams and in springs, also less mesic locations in woods and clearings; 200-2000 m; Ga., Ind., Ky., Md., N.C., Ohio, Pa., S.C., Tenn., Va., W.Va. Aconitum uncinatum grows in the Appalachian Mountains, on the Piedmont, and on the upper Atlantic Coastal Plain. It is a relatively homogeneous group divided into two intergrading subspecies by J. W. Hardin (1964). Daughter tubers and connecting rhizomes are seldom present on herbarium specimens because they are easily dislodged during collection.
Available information suggests that Aconitum uncinatum is probably not one of the extremely toxic aconites (D. E. Brink 1982).
Stem slender, weak, often leaning on other plants, arising from a turnip-like root as in no. 1 [Aconitum noveboracense A. Gray], but the new root well separated from the old one by a slender stalk; cauline lvs numerous, deeply 3-5-cleft into narrow or broadly rhomboid segments; infl short, few-fld, often glabrous as in no. 1 [Aconitum noveboracense A. Gray]; fls blue; helmet 15-22 mm long, mostly higher than long, the hood somewhat prolonged upward and ±evidently differentiated from the projecting beak. Rich woods; s. Pa. to O. and s. Ind., s. to N.C., w. S.C., n. and w. Ga., and c. Tenn. Aug.-Oct. Two vars.:
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.