E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Arnica angustifolia Vahl subsp. angustifolia
narrow-leaf arnica (alpine arnica; narrowleaf arnica)
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #25070)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Arnica angustifolia subsp. angustifolia
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Species Information

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Perennial herb, from an ascending, fibrous-rooted rhizome or stem-base; stems leafy, erect or sometimes ascending, simple or branched only in the inflorescence, sparsely to densely hairy or sometimes glandular at least in the upper portion, 10-50 cm tall.
Basal leaves lance-shaped to narrowly elliptic, hairy and often glandular, stalked, entire to toothed; stem leaves opposite, 2-4 pairs (rarely 1 or 5), reduced and becoming unstalked and entire upwards.
Heads with ray and disk flowers, solitary to 5 (rarely 7), the bases densely white-hairy; involucres 10-18 mm tall; involucral bracts lance-shaped, hairy, and usually glandular; ray flowers yellow, 10-16, toothed at the apex; disk flowers yellow.
Achenes 4-8 mm long, uniformly densely hairy and often glandular; pappus white, finely-barbed.
Two subspecies occur in BC.

1. Plants and involucres conspicuously white, woolly long-hairy; stems 5-20 cm tall, common in the alpine zone throughout BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains......................... ssp. tomentosa (Macoun) G. W. Dougl. & G. Ruyle-Dougl.

1. Plants and involucres never conspicuously white, woolly long-hairy; stems 10-25 (rarely 30) cm tall frequent in N and E BC...................... ssp. angustifolia

(Note modified from the original)

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry sites from the montane to alpine zones; common in BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains (see key below); circumboreal, N to AK and YT, E to NF and S to MN, SD and WA; Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Arnica angustifolia ssp. angustifolia

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 57 1945 2608
Slope Gradient (%) 3 27 80
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
20 193 350
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 4
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(5), BAFA(9), ESSF(12), IMA(2), SWB(2)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Arnica alpina
Arnica alpina subsp. angustifolia (Vahl) Maguire
Arnica alpina subsp. attenuata (Greene) Maguire
Arnica alpina subsp. sornborgeri (Fernald) Maguire
Arnica alpina var. angustifolia (Vahl) Fernald
Arnica alpina var. attenuata (Greene) Ediger & T.M. Barkley
Arnica alpina var. linearis Hultén
Arnica alpina var. plantaginea (Pursh) Ediger & T.M. Barkley
Arnica alpina var. ungavensis B. Boivin
Arnica alpina var. vestita Hultén
Arnica angustifolia subsp. attenuata (Greene) G.W. Douglas
Arnica attenuata
Arnica plantaginea Pursh
Arnica sornborgeri Fernald
Arnica terrae-novae Fernald

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References