Arnica chamissonis Open-pollinated. Meadow arnica is a native American species that will grow successfully in low-elevation gardens. A. chamissonis has been tested and is generally accepted as a substitute for the official European Arnica montana. Use the yellow flowers at full flowering either fresh or dried, in compresses and salves as an external remedy on unbroken skin to reduce swelling and bruising caused by traumatic injury, and on arthritic joints. 20" perennial yields well with multiple flower stalks blooming for most of the early season. Surface sow, then stratify seed and give it light to germinate. Start indoors and transplant into humus-rich soil in full sun. Zone 3. ~1,200 seeds/g. Especially attractive to pollinators.①
About medicinal herbs: Archeological evidence dates the medicinal use of herbs back 60,000 years to the Neanderthals. 85% of the world’s population employ herbs as medicines, and 40% of pharmaceuticals in the U.S. contain plant-derived materials. Fewer than 10% of higher plant species have been investigated for their medicinal components. Interest in traditional herbal remedies continues to grow.
Statements about medicinal use of plants have not been evaluated by the FDA, and should not be used for the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any ailment. Before using or ingesting any medicinal plant, consult a healthcare practitioner familiar with botanical medicine.
Culture: Some herbs are customarily grown from divisions because they cannot come true from seed, such as scented thymes and flavored mints. Some require fall sowing of fresh seed, such as sweet cicely and angelica.
Using herbs: Drying herbs at home is not difficult. Whole leaves retain their flavor at least a year. To substitute fresh herbs for dried in cooking, use triple the dried quantity called for in a recipe.
For the latest results of our germination tests, please see the germination page.