Stems 70-200 cm; base reddish, nearly glabrous. Leaves cauline, 7-24, absent from proximal 1/5 of stem at anthesis; petiole 1-15 cm. Leaf blade pentagonal, 2-7 × 3-9 cm, puberulent; ultimate lobes 3-7, width 5-25 mm; midcauline leaf lobes less than 3 times longer than wide. Inflorescences 8-30-flowered; pedicel 0.5-2 cm, puberulent; bracteoles 2-4 mm from flowers, green, linear, 2-4 mm, puberulent. Flowers: sepals whitish to pale lavender or purple, puberulent, lateral sepals forward pointing, 9-11 × 4-6 mm, spurs straight, as much as 45° above or below horizontal, 9-12 mm; lower petal blades ± covering stamens, 3-5 mm, clefts 1-2 mm; hairs centered, mostly near base of cleft, white. Fruits 7-12 mm, 2-2.5 times longer than wide, ± puberulent. Seeds ± wing-margined; seed coat cells elongate, surfaces smooth.
Flowering summer. Rocky slopes in open deciduous woods and barrens, mainly on calcareous substrates, also shale and mafic and ultramafic rocks; 150-2000 m; Ala., Ky., Md., Mo., N.C., Ohio, Pa., Tenn., Va., W.Va.
Stem to 2 m, smooth; lvs large, pale beneath, divided into a few cuneate to lanceolate segments 1-2.5 cm wide, these with 1-4 coarse, sharp lobes above the middle; raceme elongate, often compound, to 3 dm, the pedicels and often the axis pubescent; lowest pedicels 1-2.5 cm; fls blue or purple; spur 10-15 mm; lateral sep 9-11 mm; seeds triangular, wrinkled, otherwise smooth and shining. Rich woods; Pa. to N.C., w. to O., Tenn., and s. Mo. July, Aug.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.