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Heartleaf Arnica Arnica cordifolia


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Heartleaf Arnica
credit: Brewbooks/CCSA

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Alternate name: Heartleaf Leopardbane

Family: Asteraceae, Aster view all from this family

Description Native, perennial herb; may spread by rhizome to form large colonies.
Habit: upright stems, usually unbranched, rise from a rough basal rosette.
Height: 4 to 28 inches (10-70 cm).
Leaf: serrated, heart-shaped to arrowhead-shaped; 1.25-4 in (3-10 cm) long, 0.75-4 in (2-10 cm) wide; in basal rosette, and on stem in 2-4 opposite pairs.
Flower: daisy-like, 2-3.5 in (5-9 cm) widepointed oval rays around a yellow to orange disk.
Fruit: dry, hairy seed, to 3/8 in (1 cm) long, attached to white bristles.

Flower May to September.

Flower May - August

Habitat Open-canopy coniferous forests, sub-alpine meadows.

Range Native to the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountains, from Alaska south to California, east to New Mexico and the Dakotas; with disjunct populations in Michigan, Ontario, and Manitoba; 1600-10,000 ft (500-3000 m).

Discussion Also known as: arnica, heart-leaf leopardbane. This plant is now extinct in North Dakota, and endangered in Michigan. One of the dominant ground covers in many forest communities of the West.

Comments Dwarfed plants, with stems only 4-8 in. high, are distributed with the species and are called var. pumila.

Exposure Preference Sun to shade.

Native Distribution Alaska to the Black Hills, s. to California & New Mexico; rare w. of the Cascades; also Keweenaw County, Michigan

Site Preference Dry or moist, open or wooded places; 3500-10,000 ft.

Soil Preference Various moist or dry soils.