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

Arnica chamissonis Less.
meadow arnica (Chamisso arnica)
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bruce Bennett  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #23689)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Arnica chamissonis
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a long rhizome; stems erect, solitary, occasionally branched below the middle, sparsely to densely long-hairy, becoming glandular above, 20-100 cm tall.
Basal leaves often deciduous by flowering time; stem leaves 5-10 pairs, rarely only 4 pairs, opposite, 3-30 cm long, 0.3-8 cm wide, lanceolate to oblanceolate, 3-5 veined, sparsely to densely long-hairy to silvery-hairy, stalked below, not stalked above, entire to toothed, reduced upward.
Heads with ray and disk flowers, 5-15, rarely as few as 1, usually erect, the bases sparsely to densely long-hairy with white hairs, often glandular; involucres 8-15 mm tall; involucral bracts lanceolate, rounded to abruptly pointed, sparsely to densely long-hairy with a conspicuous tuft of whitish hairs at the apex; ray flowers yellow, usually 10-16, apical teeth conspicuous; disk flowers yellow.
Achenes 3.8-6 mm long, cylindric, short-hairy and glandular to subglabrate; pappus tawny or whitish, finely-barbed or somewhat feathery.
Three fairly well-marked taxa may be recognized in BC.

1. Pappus somewhat feathery, tawny; involucres densely long-hairy with some unstalked glands, the basal hairs with prominent crosswalls; leaves usually toothed and unstalked or the lowermost stalked..................... ssp. chamissonis

1. Pappus finely-barbed, whitish to straw-colored; involucres densely long-hairy but without unstalked glands, the basal hairs with less prominent crosswalls; leaves usually toothed and long-stalked, at least below.

2. Leaves densely silvery-hairy..................... ssp. incana (A. Gray) Maguire

2. Leaves less densely hairy, never silvery....................... ssp. foliosa (Nutt.) Maguire

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

Wet to mesic meadows and forest openings in the montane and subalpine zones; ssp. chamissonis and ssp. foliosa common in BC, ssp. incana rare; N to AK and YT, E to ON and S to NM, AZ and CA. Description

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Arnica chamissonis

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) 61 1612 2520
Slope Gradient (%) 0 15 71
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
8 163 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 4 8
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(4), BAFA(2), CWH(1), ESSF(63), ICH(3), IDF(5), IMA(3), MS(9), PP(1), SBPS(33), SBS(5)


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.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References