This circumboreal and montane genus occurs mostly in the temperate regions of western North America, while two are native to Eurasia (A. angustifolia and A. montana).
Arnica used to be included in the tribe Senecioneae, because it has a pappus of fine bristles. This was soon questioned and Nordenstam (1977) placed it tentatively in tribe Heliantheae s.l. This arrangement became also uncertain because of the sesquiterpene lactone chemistry in certain species. Lately Arnica was placed in an unresolved clade together with Madiinae, Eupatorieae, Heliantheae s.s. and Pectidinae.
Several species, such as Arnica montana and Arnica chamissonis contain helenalin, a sesquiterpene lactone that is a major ingredient in anti-inflammatory preparations (mostly against bruises).
Arnica species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Bucculatrix arnicella. In folk and holistic medicine, Arnica has been used as a salve for bruises and sprains , and sometimes as a tincture , for the same purpose.
They have a deep-rooted, erect stem, that is usually unbranched. Their downy, opposite leaves are borne towards the apex of the stem. The ovoid, leathery, basal leaves are arranged in a rosette.
They show large yellow or orange flowers, 6-8 cm wide with 10-15 long ray florets and numerous disc florets. The phyllaries (= a bract under the flowerhead) has long spreading hairs Each phyllary is associated with a ray floret. Species of Arnica, with an involucre (= a circle of bracts arranged surrounding the flower head) arranged in two rows, have only their outer phyllaries associated with ray florets. The flowers have a slight aromatic smell.
The seed-like fruit has a pappus of plumose, white or pale tan bristles.
Arnica acaulis (Walt.) B.S.P. -- Common Leopardbane
Arnica alpina (L.) Olin -- Alpine Arnica (synonym of Arnica angustifolia subsp. alpina)
Arnica amplexicaulis Nutt. -- Clasping Arnica, Streambank Arnica (synonym of Arnica lanceolata subsp. amplexicaulis)
Arnica angustifolia Vahl -- Narrowleaf Arnica
Arnica angustifolia subsp. alpina (L.) I. K. Ferguson
Arnica angustifolia subsp. tomentosa Downie & Denford
Arnica cernua T.J. Howell -- Serpentine Arnica
Arnica chamissonis Less. -- Chamisso Arnica
Arnica chamissonis subsp. foliosa (Nutt.) Maguire
Arnica cordifolia Hook. -- Heart-leaf Leopardbane, Heartleaf Arnica
Arnica dealbata Baldwin (formerly Whitneya dealbata)
Arnica discoidea Benth. -- Rayless Arnica
Arnica X diversifolia Greene (pro
Arnica frigida C.A. Mey. ex Iljin -- Snow Arnica (synonym of Arnica griscomii subsp. frigida)
Arnica fulgens Pursh -- Foothill Arnica, Orange Arnica, Shining Leopardbane
Arnica x gracilis Rydb. -- Smallhead Arnica (a natural hybrid between A. latifolia and A. cordifolia)
Arnica griscomii Fernald
Arnica griscomii subsp. frigida (C. A. Mey. ex Iljin) S. J. Wolf
Arnica griscomii subsp. griscomii Downie & Denford
Arnica lanceolata Nutt. -- Arnica, Lanceleaf Arnica
Arnica lanceolata subsp. amplexicaulis (Nutt.) Gruezo & Denford
Arnica lanceolata subsp. lanceolata Gruezo & Denford
Arnica latifolia Bong. -- Broadleaf Arnica
Arnica lessingii (Torr. & Gray) Greene -- Nodding Arnica
Arnica lessingii subsp. lessengii
Arnica lessingii subsp. norbergii Hult. & Maguire
Arnica lonchophylla Greene -- Longleaf Arnica
Arnica lonchophylla subsp. arnoglossa (Greene) Maguire
Arnica lonchophylla subsp. lonchophylla
Arnica longifolia D.C. Eat. -- Longleaf Arnica, Spearleaf Arnica
Arnica louiseana Farr -- Lake Louise Arnica
Arnica mallotopus (formerly Mallotopus japonicus)
Arnica mollis Hook. -- hairy arnica, wooly arnica
Arnica montana L. -- Mountain Arnica
Arnica nevadensis Gray -- Nevada Arnica
Arnica ovata Greene
Arnica parryi Gray -- Nodding Arnica, Parry's Arnica
Arnica rydbergii Greene -- Rydberg Arnica, Rydberg's Arnica, Subalpine Arnica
Arnica sachalinensis (Regel) A. Gray
Arnica sororia Greene -- Twin Arnica
Arnica spathulata Greene -- Klamath Arnica
Arnica unalaschcensis Less. -- Alaska Arnica
Arnica venosa Hall -- Shasta County Arnica
Arnica viscosa Gray -- Mt. Shasta Arnica
Other useful herb information: Chicory | Chlorella | Achillea | Red Clover | Horny Goat Weed | Gugulipid | Rose hips
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