[The Genus Arnica in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Heart-leaf Arnica, Heart-leaf Leopardbane

Arnica cordifolia

Synonyms: Arnica cordifolia var. cordifolia, Arnica cordifolia var. pumila

Heart-leaf Arnica, Heart-leaf Leopardbane: Arnica cordifolia (Synonyms: Arnica cordifolia var. cordifolia, Arnica cordifolia var. pumila)

Heartleaf arnica as seen along Soda Springs Road in the Klickitat State Wildlife Area of south-central Washington..........May 8, 2009.

Involucral bracts of Heart-leaf Arnica, Heart-leaf Leopardbane: Arnica cordifolia (Synonyms: Arnica cordifolia var. cordifolia, Arnica cordifolia var. pumila) The photo at right shows a close-up of the flower head of heartleaf arnica as seen on Mt. Adams..........May 2006.
Characteristics:

Heartleaf arnica is deciduous perennial arising to a height of 10-60 cm from naked rhizomes. The stems are solitary, or occasionally several loosely clustered together. The stems are covered with minute glandular hairs, or loosely with white hairs (see photos). The 2-3 pairs of opposite, heart-shaped stem leaves. range from 4-12 cm long and 3-9 cm wide. The leaf margins are usually coarsely toothed, but may also be entire.

The flowers are found at the tips of the stems and are usually solitary, although it is possible that several could be clustered together. The flower heads have a yellow central disk surrounded by 10-15 yellow ray flowers. The tips of these ray flowers are pointed. Individual rays are 1.5-3 cm long. The involucre is 13-20 mm tall and sparsely to thickly covered with long white, spreading hairs.

Native Americans used flowers steeped in water as a salve for wounds or cuts. The flowers may be grazed by sheep and horses.


Habitat:

Heartleaf arnica is found in wooded places, often under Oregon oaks or ponderosa pine.


Range:

Heartleaf arnica is widely distributed over the west in its habitat.

In the Columbia River Gorge, it is found at elevations between 400'-3900' from the Little White Salmon River in the west and the Columbia Hills to the north of The Dalles, OR.


Flower head of Heart-leaf Arnica, Heart-leaf Leopardbane: Arnica cordifolia (Synonyms: Arnica cordifolia var. cordifolia, Arnica cordifolia var. pumila)

A close-up of the flower head of heartleaf arnica as seen along Soda Springs Road in the Klickitat State Wildlife Area of south-central Washington..........May 8, 2009.

Cordate-shaped leaf of Heart-leaf Arnica, Heart-leaf Leopardbane: Arnica cordifolia (Synonyms: Arnica cordifolia var. cordifolia, Arnica cordifolia var. pumila)

The photo above shows a close-up of the heart-shaped leaf of heartleaf arnica as seen atop the Columbia Hills on the floor of an oak forest about one-half mile east of Stacker Butte............May 1, 2005.

Heart-leaf Arnica, Heart-leaf Leopardbane: Arnica cordifolia (Synonyms: Arnica cordifolia var. cordifolia, Arnica cordifolia var. pumila)

Heartleaf arnica beginning to bloom at Brooks Memorial State Park, northern Klickitat County, WA..........April 28, 2014.

Involucral bracts of Heart-leaf Arnica, Heart-leaf Leopardbane: Arnica cordifolia (Synonyms: Arnica cordifolia var. cordifolia, Arnica cordifolia var. pumila) - Heart-leaf Arnica, Heart-leaf Leopardbane: Arnica cordifolia (Synonyms: Arnica cordifolia var. cordifolia, Arnica cordifolia var. pumila)

Heartleaf arnica blooming under oaks at the Margerum Ranch, a Columbia Land Trust property, Klickitat County, WA..........April 24, 2015.

Heart-leaf Arnica, Heart-leaf Leopardbane: Arnica cordifolia (Synonyms: Arnica cordifolia var. cordifolia, Arnica cordifolia var. pumila)

A mass of heartleaf arnica blooming in open woods between Little Bowman and Canyon Creeks, Klickitat Wildlife Area.......May 17, 2017.

Heart-leaf Arnica, Heart-leaf Leopardbane: Arnica cordifolia (Synonyms: Arnica cordifolia var. cordifolia, Arnica cordifolia var. pumila) - Heart-leaf Arnica, Heart-leaf Leopardbane: Arnica cordifolia (Synonyms: Arnica cordifolia var. cordifolia, Arnica cordifolia var. pumila)

The photo above left shows heartleaf arnica as seen on Mt. Adams.........May 2006. The photo at left shows a potted plant from the webmaster's Gresham, OR yard..........July 7, 2016.

Paul Slichter