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Arnica frigida ssp. griscomii
Arnica louiseana ssp. griscomii
Arnica louiseana var. griscomii
Arnica griscomii subsp. frigida
Arnica griscomii subsp. frigida synonyms
Arnica frigida ssp. frigida
Arnica louiseana ssp. frigida
Arnica frigida var. glandulosa
Arnica louiseana var. brevifolia
Arnica louiseana var. frigida
Arnica louiseana var. illiamnae
Arnica louiseana var. mendenhallii
Arnica louiseana var. pilosa Maguire
Arnica griscomii subsp. griscomii (Newfoundland and Québec)
Note on scientific names, synonyms, and subspecies: The descriptions in this post are for Arnica griscomii and the subspecies Arnica griscomii subsp. frigida. There are many arnicas and there is not total agreement on nomenclature in much literature or online. I am using the ITIS accepted names, as they should be the most up-to-date. However, these are also very commonly listed as Arnica frigida – as described by Verna Pratt in the Field Guide to Alaskan Wildflowers.
Family: Asteraceae (sunflowers)
WARNING – POISONOUS – Uses section for information only (typically historical) – I take no responsibility for adverse effects from the use of any plant.
Arnicas are toxic when injested or applied to open skin wounds. No direct information about usage of arnica griscomii, but other arnicas are well documented as a dermatological aid for swellings, back pain, and bruises, usually from an infusion of roots or mashed plant. Non-homeopathic Arnica Montana has been shown to be more effective than placebo for postoperative pain, but studies are limited .
Snow arnica (arnica griscomii) is yellow-flowering plant 5-40 cm (2-16 in) tall. Stems are typically unbranched. It has a rosette of 1-4 pairs of basal leaves with oblong blades with few teeth. Stems are covered in white, silky hairs. Most common is a single, but up to 3 stems rise from the root with erect or nodding heads. It has between 6-17 yellow ray florets and yellow disk florets. Arnica griscomii ssp. frigida has involucre bases that are densely pilose and lanceolate bracts.
Distribution and Habitat
Arnica griscomii is indigenous to Alaska, the Yukon, Northwest Territories, British Columbia, as well as eastern Russia. It is typically found in alpine environments in barren, calcium-rich soils, in rocky or gravelly terrain in full sun.
|Rank||Scientific Name (Common Name)|
|Subkingdom||Tracheobionta (Vascular plants)|
|Superdivision||Spermatophyta (Seed plants)|
|Division||Magnoliophyta (Flowering plants)|
|Family||Asteraceae ⁄ Compositae (Aster family)|
|Genus||Arnica L. (arnica)|
|Arnica griscomii ssp. frigida (snow arnica)|
Arnica griscomii ssp. griscomii
References and Further Reading
Field Guide to Alaskan Wildflowers, Pratt, Verna E. pg 44
Arnica griscomii Fernald Taxonomic Serial No.: 509129, ITIS Database
Arnica frigida C.A. Mey. ex Iljin ssp. frigida snow arnica, USDA Database (outdated classification)
Iannitti, Tommaso PhD1,*; Morales-Medina, Julio César PhD2; Bellavite, Paolo MD3; Rottigni, Valentina MSC4; Palmieri, Beniamino MD, PhD4 Effectiveness and Safety of Arnica montana in Post-Surgical Setting, Pain and Inflammation, American Journal of Therapeutics: January/February 2016 – Volume 23 – Issue 1 – p e184-e197 doi: 10.1097/MJT.0000000000000036
8. Arnica griscomii Fernald, Rhodora. 26: 105, plate 143, fig. 7. 1924., Flora of North America
8b. Arnica griscomii Fernald subsp. frigida (C. A. Meyer ex Iljin) S. J. Wolf, Taxon. 38: 142., Flora of North America
All references accessed in March 2021 unless otherwise noted