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

Arnica angustifolia Vahl
alpine arnica (narrowleaf arnica)
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Alfred Cook  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #8291)

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Distribution of Arnica 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

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) 905 1841 2440
Slope Gradient (%) 0 26 110
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
1 190 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 7
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(15), BAFA(23), ESSF(66), IMA(6), MS(1), SBPS(1), SBS(3), SWB(10)


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 subsp. lonchophylla (Greene) Roy L. Taylor & MacBryde
Arnica alpina var. lonchophylla (Greene) S.L. Welsh
Arnica angustifolia subsp. lonchophylla (Greene) G.W. Douglas & G. Ruyle-Douglas
Arnica chionopappa Fernald
Arnica gaspensis Fernald
Arnica lonchophylla subsp. chionopappa (Fernald) Maguire

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References