Dear Tapas
Thanks for sending the key.  Would you let me know which publication this comes 
Would you also please provide an approx. altitude and general location where 
you took your photos?Such information is important and should always accompany 
any images of any genus sent foridentification.
I do have the key in 'Flora of Bhutan' Vol 1 Part 2 (1984), which covers Sikkim 
as well but clearly the knowledge of the genus in the E.Himalaya has advanced 
since then. 
One must always use keys with caution.  They are difficult to prepare and 
inevitably imperfect.  They canserve a useful purpose in narrowing down the 
most likely candidates but even so.
A major problem is that most are mostly prepared from a limited number of 
dried, pressed herbarium specimens -the characteristics of living/fresh 
specimens is often not known by herbarium taxonomists.
The detail one can see in photos - not matter how close-up they are (and yours 
are not) is often inadequateand/or requires inspect of both flowers and fruit, 
which seldom are available together.

Best Wishes,

Chris Chadwell

81 Parlaunt Road 

      From: Tapas Chakrabarty <>
Cc: efloraofindia <>; J.M. Garg 
 Sent: Tuesday, 18 October 2016, 9:04
 Subject: Re: [efloraofindia:254056] Re: Aconitum heterophyllum [?] 
(Ranunculaceae) from North Sikkim.
Thank you Chadwell ji,There are 12 species of Aconitum recorded for Sikkim. I 
have no knowledge in this group.Someone gave me a Key to the species in Sikkim 
which I am furnishing below thinking that it may be of some use.Regards,Tapas.

|  1a.  |  Climbing or twining herbs                                            
                             2. A. elwesiii                                     
|    b.  |  Erect herbs                                                         
                                                          2  |
|  2a.  |  Annual herbs with slender tap roots; carpels 9 – 12                  
            5. A. gymnandrum  |
|   b.  |  Perennial or biennial herbs, usually with a paired tap root; carpels 
3 – 5 (-8)                3  |
|  3a.  |  Inflorescences 1 – 4-flowered                                        
                       10. A. naviculare  |
|   b.  |  Inflorescences many-flowered                                         
                                              4  |
|  4a.  |  Perennial herbs                                                      
                           11. A. novoluridum  |
|   b.  |  Biennial herbs                                                       
                                                      5  |
|  5a.  |  Petals hispid or hispidulous                                         
                                                   6  |
|   b.  |  Petals glabrous                                                      
                                                          9  |
|  6a.  |  Carpels glabrous, drying black                                       
                             4. A. gammiei  |
|   b.  |  Carpels pubescent                                                    
                                                    7  |
|  7a.  |  Carpels 3 (-4 – 5)                                                   
                            8. A. laciniatum  |
|  b.  |  Carpels 5                                                             
                                                        8  |
|  8a.  |  
Uppermost sepal horizontal, conspicuously beaked; carpels densely yellow 
                                   9. A. nakaoi                                 
|   b.  |  
Uppermost sepal oblique, shortly beaked; carpels sparsely pubescent to glabrous 
                      6. A. heterophylloides  |
|  9a.  |  
Carpels glabrous                                                                
                      1. A. bisma
|   b.  |  
Carpels pubescent                                                               
|  10a.  |  
Leaves from hypogynous base of stem                                             
       7. A. hookeri
|    b.  |  
Leaves basal and cauline                                                        
|  11a.  |  
Bracteoles linear, entire; flowers dirty blue; petal head ca 6 mm long          
3. A. ferox
|    b.  |  
Bracteoles broad, dentate; flowers deep blue; petal head ca 10 mm long   
                           12. A. spicatum 

On Mon, Oct 17, 2016 at 11:12 PM, 
<> wrote:

I can say with certainty that this is definitely not Aconitum heterophyllum  - 
a species not found in the E.Himalaya. I had delayed in sending an initial 
response in hope that some else would name it!
My knowledge of Eastern Himalayan flora is much less with relatively few plant 
explorations in the region.  I have not been into Sikkim proper.  
Aconitum is not an easy genus; I see there are a number of images of specimens 
of this genus photographed in Sikkim on efi site which have not be identified 
yet.  Another task awaiting to take a close look at all these!  Clearly there 
is no expert on the genus currently available?   There are quite a number of 
species to consider.  I could say it was similar to one or two species but need 
time to look into the E.Himalayan representatives further.  Some 20+ species 
recorded from Bhutan & Sikkim - though one can readily eliminate most of these.
Shall wait further just in case there is anyone out there who can come to our 

On Sunday, October 9, 2016 at 6:05:01 PM UTC+1, tchakrab wrote:
Kindly look at the attachments.  This is fairly common there.Regards,Tapas.
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