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Arnica cordifolia (Heartleaf arnica)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Arnica cordifolia

Arnica cordifolia Hook.

Heartleaf Arnica, Heart-leaf Leopardbane

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Synonym(s): Arnica cordifolia ssp. genuina, Arnica cordifolia var. humilis, Arnica cordifolia var. pumila, Arnica cordifolia var. whitneyi, Arnica hardinae, Arnica humilis, Arnica paniculata, Arnica whitneyi

USDA Symbol: ARCO9

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

This pubescent perennial with long-petioled, heart-shaped basal leaves bears a single, yellow, radiate flower atop a solitary 2 foot stem. Plants are rhizomatous and form clumps to several feet across. The plant makes a tight-binding carpet of green leaves at ground level. Stems with 2-4 pairs of heart-shaped leaves are topped by 1-3 broad yellow heads.

In alpine areas or in open places along roads, the leaves may be narrower and without the notch at the base of the blade. All western species have paired leaves on the stems, but only this one has heart-shaped leaves.


From the Image Gallery

29 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Root Type: Tap
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Cordate
Size Notes: Up to about 2 feet tall.
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AK , AZ , CA , CO , ID , MI , MT , ND , NM , NV , OR , SD , UT , WA , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NT , ON , SK , YT
Native Distribution: AK to the Black Hills, s. to CA & NM; rare w. of the Cascades; also Keweenaw Co., MI
Native Habitat: Dry or moist, open or wooded places; 3500-10,000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Various moist or dry soils.
Conditions Comments: Dwarfed plants, with stems only 4-8 in. high, are distributed with the species and are called var. pumila.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Additional resources

USDA: Find Arnica cordifolia in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Arnica cordifolia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Arnica cordifolia


Record Modified: 2022-09-17
Research By: TWC Staff

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