Arnica lessingii Greene
purple arnica (nodding arnica)
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Alfred Cook     (Photo ID #8318)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Arnica lessingii
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Species Information

Perennial herb from a rhizome; stems solitary, sometimes branched above, 5-35 cm tall.
Basal leaves smaller than the stem leaves, often deciduous by flowering time; stem leaves 3-4 (rarely 5-6) pairs, often all produced near the basal ones, lanceolate to oblanceolate or elliptic, 1.5-14.5 cm long, 0.5-2.5 cm wide, reduced above, glabrous to hairy below, hairy above, unstalked or stalked below, unstalked above, entire to toothed.
Heads with ray and disk flowers, solitary, usually nodding, the bases moderately long-hairy with brown hairs; involucres 12-17 mm tall; involucral bracts lanceolate to elliptic, long-hairy, the tips fringed; ray flowers yellow, 8-14, conspicuously toothed; disk flowers yellow, anthers purple, conspicuous.
Achenes 5.0-6.5 mm long, sparsely short-hairy to glabrous; pappus brownish, finely-barbed to more or less feathery.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


Ecological Framework for Arnica lessingii

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)
1632 1500 1750
Slope Gradient (%)
21 2 50

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

259 20 300
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 3 6
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

BAFA(6), SWB(3)

Habitat and Range

Moist snowbed sites, streambanks and meadows in the alpine zone; infrequent in N BC; amphiberingian, N to AK, YT and NT, E Asia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Arnica lessingii subsp. norbergii Hultén & Maguire