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Arnica cordifolia facts for kids

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Arnica cordifolia
Arnica cordifolia 4631.JPG
Wenatchee Mountains, Washington
Scientific classification

Arnica cordifolia is a species of arnica in the sunflower family, known by the common name heartleaf arnica. It is native to western North America from Alaska to California to New Mexico, as far east as Ontario and Michigan. It is a plant of many habitat types, including coniferous forests, and moist mountain meadows from sea level to above 12,000 feet (3,700 m), but most commonly 4,000–11,000 feet (1,200–3,400 m).


This is a rhizomatous perennial herb producing one or more erect stems reaching a maximum height near half a meter. It has two to four pairs of leaves on the stem, each on a long petiole. The leaves are heart-shaped to arrowhead-shaped and finely toothed along the edges. The inflorescence bears one or more daisylike flower heads lined with white-haired phyllaries and sometimes studded with resin glands. The center of each head contains golden yellow disc florets and a fringe of bright golden ray florets approaching 3 centimeters in maximum length.

The fruit is a hairy achene up to a centimeter long, not counting its off-white pappus. Seeds are dispersed on the wind. An individual plant can live twelve years, surviving periodic wildfire by resprouting from its long, slender rhizome afterward.

The species could be confused with the similar Arnica latifolia, from which it can be distinguished by the leaves. The leaves of A. cordifolia are larger and heart-shaped.


The dried leaves can be made into a poultice or tincture to treat strains and bruises.

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