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Click for more Arnica mollis photographs.
Arnica mollis

Arnica mollis (Arnica)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Subalpine, alpine. Woodland openings and meadows. Summer.
Sharkstooth Trail, July 18, 2005.

Arnica mollis tends to grow in small, tight, upright clumps; its leaves are usually sessile and far narrower than those of Arnica cordifolia; its stems are hairy and sticky; and its flowers orange/yellow.  Arnica mollis at first appears to be far less common in the Four Corners area than Arnica cordifolia, but as one explores more trails and mountainsides, one finds Arnica mollis in abundance.

All Arnicas shown on this web site have lovely lemon-scented flowers.

Arnica mollis and Arnica cordifolia were first collected by Thomas Drummond in the Canadian Rockies in the 1820s and they were named by William Hooker in his Flora Boreali-Americana in 1834. "Mollis" is Latin for "soft".  The word "Arnica" is considered by most botanical etymologists to be of unknown origin, but "arn" is Greek for "lamb" so perhaps the meaning is, "like lamb's skin," referring to the downy soft leaves.

Arnica mollis

Arnica mollis (Arnica)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Subalpine, alpine. Woodland openings and meadows. Summer.
Upper Taylor Mesa, July 6, 2010.

Arnica mollis often grows in dense colonies, but it also appears in small clusters.

Arnica mollis

Arnica mollis

Arnica mollis (Arnica)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Subalpine, alpine. Woodland openings and meadows. Summer.
Sharkstooth Trail, July 18, 2005 and Upper Taylor Mesa, July 6, 2010.

Arnica mollis
Arnica cordifolia

Arnica mollis (Arnica)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Subalpine, alpine. Woodland openings and meadows. Summer.
Sharkstooth Trail, July 18, 2005.

When one opens the flowers of Asteraceae one finds the pappus, appendages that can be silky, bristly, or awn-like at the top of the forming sunflower seeds.  The pappus of Arnica mollis is tawny and quite feather-like, that of Arnica cordifolia silvery-white and relatively unbranched.

Pappus hairs are what we all love about Dandelions -- they are the silvery plumes that we blow on to disperse the seeds.

Click for an enlarged photograph of an Arnica mollis flower.

Click for more Arnica mollis photographs.

 

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Arnica mollis  

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