Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Aconitum chasmanthum Stapf ex Holmes, Mus. Rep. Pharm. Soc. Gr. Brit. 2. 1903; Stapf in Ann. R. Bot. Gard. Calc. 10: 142 - 144, t. 96. 1905.

Herbs, biennial; roots tuberous, paired, 3 - 5 cm long; stems 60 - 120 cm high, erect, stout, simple below, glabrous or hairy. Leaves many, basal ones long-petioled, upper ones short-petioled; petioles up to 7.5 cm long; lamina orbicular or reniform, 4 - 6 x 5 - 9 cm, palmately tripartite to the base; lobes more or less laciniate. Inflorescence a stiff dense raceme, up to 30 cm long, pubescent. Flowers ca 2.5 cm long, pale blue, often vareigated with white; pedicels slender, adpressed to rachis when mature; bracteoles linear. Sepals blue or bluish white, glabrous; uppermost sepal helmet-shaped, ca 2 cm long, glabrous or slightly hairy; upper lateral sepals suborbicular; lower lateral sepals elliptic or oblong. Petals glabrous. Filaments glabrous or hairy on upper part, winged below; anthers brownish black. Carpels 5, glabrous. Follicles 5, free, oblong, glabrous or hairy. Seeds 3-winged.

Fl. & Fr. July - Sept.

Distrib. India: Alpine meadows of N. W. Himalayas. Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh (inner valleys of Lahul and Sipti).


Notes. The tubers contain a very poisonous alkaloid, indaconitine, a valuable drug for medicinal purposes. They are said to yield 4.25 to 4.5 % of the total alkaloid (Coventry, Wild Fl. Kashmir 19. 1930). This species belongs to the species aggregate described by Hook. f. & Thomson (in Fl. Brit. India 1: 29. 1872) under the nameA. napellus (non L.). It has been stated that it is at times difficult to separate this species fromA. violaceum var. robustum Stapf.

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