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

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Bruce Bennett     (Photo ID #23689)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Arnica chamissonis
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

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

SourceThe 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


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)
1612 61 2520
Slope Gradient (%)
15 0 71

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

163 8 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 1 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
# 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)

Habitat and 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

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia