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

Arnica longifolia D.C. Eaton
seep-spring arnica (spearleaf arnica)
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ryan Batten  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #66832)

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Distribution of Arnica longifolia
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a short rhizome or branched base; stems leafy, erect, numerous, sometimes branched above, glabrate below, sparsely hairy above, 30-60 cm tall.
Basal leaves poorly developed, often deciduous by flowering time; stem leaves opposite, unstalked to shortly stalked, usually 5-7 (sometimes 4) pairs, linear-lanceolate to lance-elliptic, entire or sometimes inconspicuously toothed, 5-15 cm long, 1.0-3.5 cm wide, short-hairy to sparsely glandular.
Heads with ray and disk flowers, 7-20 (rarely as few as 3 or as many as 35), the bases sparsely to moderate hairy and often with dense, stalked glands; involucres 7-12 mm tall; involucral bracts linear-lanceolate to oblanceolate, hairy; ray flowers yellow, 8-13, conspicuously or inconspicuously toothed; disk flowers yellow.
Achenes 4.5-5.5 mm long, subglabrate or with some short-stalked glands; pappus brownish, more or less feathery.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Early Summer
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Moist to wet meadows and seepage slopes in subalpine and alpine zones; rare in SC BC, known only from Snowy Mountain; E to SW AB and S to CO and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Arnica longifolia

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) 1400 1580 1760
Slope Gradient (%) 20 20 20
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
20 57 95
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 5 6
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: ESSF(3)


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 longifolia subsp. genuina Maguire
Arnica longifolia subsp. myriadenia (Piper) Maguire

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References