Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Arnica cordifolia
heart-leaf arnica, heart-leaf leopardbane

Distribution: Occurring chiefly east of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east to the Rocky Mountains, northern Great Plains, and the Great Lakes region.

Habitat: Light forest understory, openings, and edge, from low elevations to the subalpine.

Flowers: April-July

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Apomixis, bumblebees, butterflies


Perennial from long rhizomes, 1-6 dm. tall, pubescent, stems solitary or a few clustered together.


Long-petiolate, cordate basal leaves commonly on separate short shoots; cauline leaves 2-4 pairs, petiolate, reduced upward, the more or less cordate blade 4-12 cm. long and 3-9 cm. wide, usually toothed.


Heads 1-3, rarely more, often single; involucre 13-20 mm. high, covered with long, spreading, white hairs, and usually glandular as well; rays 10-15, 1.5-3 cm. long, yellow; pappus white, barbellate.


Achenes uniformly short-hairy or glandular or both.

Identification Notes:

The similar Arnica latifolia has smaller and usually more heads, and the leaves and achenes are usually glabrous.

Accepted Name:
Arnica cordifolia Hook.
Publication: Fl. Bor.-Amer. 1: 331. 1834.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Arnica cordifolia Hook. var. cordifolia [HC]
Arnica cordifolia Hook. var. pumila (Rydb.) Maguire [HC]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Arnica cordifolia in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Arnica cordifolia checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Arnica cordifolia information.

E-Flora BC: Arnica cordifolia atlas page.

CalPhotos: Arnica cordifolia photos.

USDA Plants: Arnica cordifolia information.

77 photographs:
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