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

Arnica fulgens Pursh
orange arnica (foothill arnica)
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #8568)

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Distribution of Arnica fulgens
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a short, freely rooted, densely scaly rhizome; stems erect, solitary, glandular and sometimes hairy, especially above, 20-60 cm tall.
Basal leaves numerous, 5-15 cm long, 1-4 cm wide, stalked, lanceolate to oblanceolate, 3-5 veined, sparsely to densely hairy and glandular, entire to remotely toothed, often with white or brown woolly tufts at the bases, stem leaves similar, 2-4 pairs, reduced upwards.
Heads with ray and disk flowers, solitary, sometimes 2-3, the bases moderately to densely hairy and glandular; involucres 12-20 mm tall; involucral bracts lanceolate to oblanceolate or elliptic-oblong, long-hairy, often sparsely so above, the tips fringed within; ray flowers orange-yellow, 11-23, with 3 blunt teeth; disk flowers yellow, with spreading white hairs among the stalked glandular hairs or the white hairs few or lacking.
Achenes 4.0-5.5 mm long, densely, stiff-hairy; pappus white, finely-barbed.
Arnica sororia has always been treated as a distinct species from A. fulgens. The former, however, is so closely related to the latter that the only consistent difference is the pubescence on the disk corollas (Tayl. and MacBryde 1978, Douglas 1982). I have thus treated the two taxa at the varietal level.

1. Disk corollas with spreading white hairs among the stalked, glandular hairs; old leaf bases often with dense tufts of long, brown-woolly hairs in the axils................................................ var. fulgens

1. Disk corollas without, or occasionally with a few spreading white hairs among the stalked glandular hairs; old leaf bases with only a few, if any, long white hairs in the axils.......................................... var. sororia (Greene) G.W. Dougl. & G. Ruyle-Dougl.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Mid Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Spring to Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry to mesic meadows, grasslands, shrublands and open forests in the steppe and lower montane zones; var. fulgens common in SC, SE and NE BC, var. sororia common in SC and SE BC; E to AB and S to N UT and N CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Arnica fulgens

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) 275 906 2312
Slope Gradient (%) 0 21 76
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 154 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 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: At(2), BG(18), ESSF(7), ICH(1), IDF(74), MS(6), PP(68), SBPS(1)


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 fulgens var. fulgens
Arnica fulgens var. sororia (Greene) G.W. Douglas & G. Ruyle-Douglas

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References