Hairy arnica is a fairly attractive perennial wildflower when viewed in mass. It has many spreading rhizomes with upright stems arising from 20-60 cm high. The herbage conists of numerous short to long hairs to numerous glands. The 3-4 pairs of leaves are found on the stems, with the lowest leaves the largest and the upper leaves reduced in size. The lower leaves may be short petiolate or sessile, while the upper are sessile. The blades are variable in shape, ranging from ovate to elliptic, lanceolate or oblanceolate. The margins range from entire to lightly toothed.
The flower heads are solitary or few in number. The involucre ranges from 10-16 mm high with lanceolate or oblanceolate bracts, having acute to acuminate tips. Individual bracts are villous at the base and glandular towards the tips. The yellowish rays measure from 12-14 mm long (See photo below.).
Hairy arnica is found in wet meadows and along streambanks at moderate to high elevation (1900-3550 meters) in the mountains.
Hairy arnica may be found in British Columbia south through the Cascades of Washington and Oregon and hence south into California. It is found eastward in mountainous areas to the Rocky Mts, from Alberta south to Colorado, Utah and central Nevada.
Hairy arnica found along the Maxwell Lake Trail about one-quarter mile northeast of Maxwell Lake, Eagle Cap Wilderness..........August 3, 2016.
Hairy arnica observed in open forest around the edges of a wet meadow at Hanks Spring on the northwest side of Twelvemile Peak. This is accessed via the Fremont National Recreation Trail, Fremont-Winema National Forest.......August 2, 2020.
The photo shows a close-up sideview of hairy arnica, showing the ray flowers and a sideview of the disk flowers. Photographed at about 4300' in moist meadows at the southeastern corner of Mt. Adams..........June 19, 2005.