Nodding arnica – Arnica lessingii

Alaska Wildflowers | Yellow

The nodding yellow flowers of Arnica lessingii, commonly known as nodding arnica or Lessing's arnica.

Nodding arnica

Arnica lessingii

Common Names

arnica de Lessing
Lessing’s arnica
Lessing’s leopardbane
Nodding arnica
purple arnica

Synonyms

Arnica angustifolia var. lessingii
Arnica lessingii ssp. norbergii
Arnica porsildiorum

Subspecies

none

Genus: Arnica
Family: Asteraceae (sunflowers, tournesols)
Order: Asterales
taxonomic hierarchy

Duration – Growth Habit

Perennial – forb/herb



Identification and Information

Arnica lessingii, commonly known as nodding arnica or Lessing’s arnica, is an often solitary 5-35 cm tall perennial herb that grows from a scaly rhizome. It has 1-3 stems, usually simple, only occasionally branched, that are moderately to densely hairy. It has 2-6 (3-4 most common) pairs of leaves, often crowded at the base of the stem very close to the smaller basal leaves. The blades are lanceolate, oblanceolate to elliptic, and 3-10 cm long and 1-2.5 cm wide. The leaf margins are typically entire proximally (close to the stem) and dentate distally. The abaxial (bottom) surface of the leaf is often glabrous (hairless) and paler than the adaxial surface (top) of the leaf, which is typically slightly hairy.

The flowering heads are solitary, with both ray and disk flowers, and usually nodding. They have 11-15 hairy, purple, lanceolate to elliptic involucral bracts. The involucres is 12-17 mm long. The head has 8-14 toothed yellow ray florets. The disc florets are also yellow, and the anthers are dark purple. The fruits are 5-6 mm long achenes.

Flowering June-September.


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Uses

For information only (typically historical) – I take no responsibility for adverse effects from the use of any plant.

No traditional, medicinal, or culinary uses were found.


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Distribution and Habitat

Arnica lessingii is native to Alaska, the Yukon, Northwest Territories, British Columbia, and the Kamchatka Region of Siberia (Russia).

It lives near streambanks, costal and alpine tundra or meadows, and near moist snowbeds.

Classification

RankScientific Name (Common Name)
KingdomPlantae (plantes, Planta, Vegetal, plants)
   SubkingdomViridiplantae (green plants)
      InfrakingdomStreptophyta (land plants)
         SuperdivisionEmbryophyta 
            DivisionTracheophyta (vascular plants, tracheophytes)
               SubdivisionSpermatophytina (spermatophytes, seed plants, phanérogames)
                  ClassMagnoliopsida 
                     SuperorderAsteranae 
                        OrderAsterales 
                           FamilyAsteraceae (sunflowers, tournesols)
                              GenusArnica L. – arnica
                                 SpeciesArnica lessingii Greene (nodding arnica)

References and Further Reading

Guidebook

Pratt, V. E. (1989). Field Guide to Alaskan Wildflowers: Commonly Seen Along Highways and Byways (p. 44). Alaskakrafts, inc.

Taxonomy

Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) (n.d.). Arnica lessingii. Retrieved March 23, 2024, from https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=36567#null

Brouillet, L. (n.d.). Arnica lessingii. VASCAN, the Database of Vascular Plants of Canada. Retrieved March 23, 2024, from https://data.canadensys.net/vascan/name/Arnica%20lessingii

USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center (n.d.). Arnica lessingii. Retrieved March 23, 2024, from https://plants.usda.gov/home/plantProfile?symbol=ARLE2

Uses

none

Map and Distribution

GBIF (n.d.). Arnica lessingii. Retrieved March 23, 2024, from https://www.gbif.org/species/5405910

NatureServe Explorer (n.d.). Arnica lessingii. Retrieved March 23, 2024, from https://explorer.natureserve.org/Taxon/ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.132154/Arnica_lessingii

Description and Information

Flora of North America (n.d.). Arnica lessingii. Retrieved March 23, 2024, from http://floranorthamerica.org/Arnica_lessingii

E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia (n.d.). Arnica lessingii. Retrieved March 23, 2024, from https://linnet.geog.ubc.ca/Atlas/Atlas.aspx?sciname=Arnica%20lessingii

Hultén, E. (1968). Flora of Alaska and Neighboring Territories: A Manual of the Vascular Plants (1st ed.) (pg. 916). Stanford University Press.

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