Description of the arnica plant, the rules of planting and care in open ground, how to propagate the ram, possible difficulties in growing, interesting notes and applications, types.
Arnica (Arnica) belongs to the herbaceous representatives of the flora that are part of the Asteraceae family, which is often called Compositae. The main natural habitat of these plants is in the North American continent. The genus includes about three dozen species, but if we talk about the territory of Russia (mainly in the Far East) and neighboring countries, there is an opportunity to meet only 8 of them.
|Family name||Compositae or Astral|
|Breeds||Using seeds, dividing the bush|
|Open ground transplant terms||Seedlings in late May, cuttings in early spring or autumn|
|Landing rules||Leave 45 cm between the seedlings|
|Priming||Loose, nutritious and well-drained, peaty|
|Soil acidity values, pH||6, 5-7 (neutral), but there are species that prefer below 6 (slightly acidic) or above 7 (slightly alkaline)|
|Illumination level||Well-lit flower bed|
|Humidity level||Regular irrigation without waterlogging of the soil|
|Special care rules||Undemanding|
|Height options||0.5-1.5 m|
|Type of inflorescences or flowers||Single flowers or in small groups, basket inflorescences|
|Color of flowers||Yellow orange|
|Fruit type||Multi-bristled fly|
|The timing of fruit ripening||At the end of summer or from September|
|Application in landscape design||Group planting in flower beds, flower beds and mixborders|
There are several versions regarding the name of arnica:
- According to the first - the authorship is given to the ancient Greek physician and naturalist Dioscorides (40-90 BC), who called this plant "ptarmiki", which translates as "sneezing", because under the influence of the scent of flowers and deciduous mass, sneezing began. But over time, the original term was distorted, and as a result, the word "arnica" appeared.
- According to another version, the name goes back to the generic name, which had ancient Greek roots "arin" and means "lamb", since in nature plants are found on pastures in the highlands. Because of this, one can hear among the people the nicknames of arnica "ram", "lamb grass" or "ram".
All species are perennials with a herbaceous vegetative form. The size of the stems can vary from half a meter to 1.5 m. The color of their surface is grayish-green or light green due to the presence of pubescence. Arnica stems grow solitary, with a slight branching to the top. The outlines of the leaves of the ram are oval or ovate-oval, with a short pointed at the top and an elongated part at the base.
Arnica leaves are arranged on the stems in opposite order, while in rare cases only a pair of leaf plates at the top can grow opposite, diagonally opposite, or in succession. From leaves of larger sizes, a rosette is collected in the root zone in arnica, and on the stems they are rarely located and smaller in size. The leaves may have a small petiole or grow sessile. If the leaf is sessile, then it half bends around the stem with its bed. The foliage is painted in a rich green hue.
During flowering, which occurs in arnica from June to September, inflorescences form on the tops of the stems, which, like all Asterians, are represented by baskets. Such basket inflorescences grow singly or in groups of several units. In the inflorescence there is a wrapper made up of two rows (rarely arranged in one row) of leaves, which are almost equal in length in length. The receptacle in the basket is convex, it is covered with villi or hairs.
The marginal flowers in the arnica inflorescence are ligate, and the pistillate ones are characterized by yellow or orange tongues. All other flowers of the inflorescence are tubular, their color is yellow or orange, often in the lower part they are of a paler shade. Such tubular flowers are bisexual, with a three-toothed outline at the top. When opened, the diameter of the flower basket can vary within 3–7 cm.
The size of the anthers in the flowers of the ram is practically equal to the filaments. They are most often painted in yellow color, but sometimes plants with dark crimson anthers are found. The column is characterized by thin stigmas that clearly protrude from the corolla. The stigma on the inside with grooves, and on the outside there are papillae, as they approach the apex, their shape turns into a brush.
The fruit of the arnica is the polychaete fly. Its outline can vary from short to long bearded, occasionally acquiring an almost feathery shape. Its color is whitish or with a slight pinkish tint or off-white. The size of the fly is equal to or slightly larger than the tubular rim. The achene has a linear-cylindrical shape, there is a narrowing at the ends, on the surface there are longitudinally placed ridges or ribs. There is always a white ring at the base of the achene. It grows naked, with glands or bristly hairy.
Rules for planting and caring for arnica in open ground
- Landing place The ram should be well lit, but so that the plant has a couple of hours of direct sunlight in the daytime. When planting under direct streams of ultraviolet radiation (southern flower bed), so that the foliage does not wither or dry out, additional watering will have to be carried out. The southeast or southwest location is best suited. It is recommended that the flowerbed be on a raised platform. When cultivating arnica in the garden, moisture parameters do not matter. However, you should not choose lowlands or places with closely passing groundwater for planting.
- Priming for growing arnica, a nutritious and moist one is selected; acidic peat soil is the best choice. Acidity values are preferred pH 6, 5-7 (neutral) or below 6 (acidic).
- Planting arnica depends on what is planned to be planted. If seedlings, then the end of May is suitable for this, while the delenki are planted in early spring or autumn, at the end of the growing season. In any case, the soil in the selected area must be prepared in advance (from autumn). The soil must be dug deeply, weeds and remnants of the roots of other plants must be removed. 3-4 buckets of well-rotted manure or compost are mixed into the substrate per 1 m2. Often, during the wintering, plantings of arnica die, even if all the rules of care were followed. Therefore, it is recommended to have seeds in stock for plant regeneration. The storage of seed without loss of germination properties can be for a 2-year period. The seedlings are planted in a hole 4–5 cm deep, and a hole is dug for the dells, the size of which will only slightly exceed the root system and the earthen lump surrounding it. With a group arrangement, no more than 45 cm is left between the seedlings.
- Watering when caring for arnica in open ground conditions, it should be carried out three times a week so that the soil is constantly moistened. But here it is important not to bring the soil to acidification, as this can provoke fungal diseases. If the weather is dry and hot for a long time, then watering should be regular and abundant.
- Fertilizers when caring for an arnica, it is recommended to apply it only during the active growing season, once a month. You can use full mineral complexes (something like Frtika, Agricola or Kemira).
- Wintering when growing a ram, it is not a problem, since the plant usually tolerates a winter drop in temperature in our latitudes.
- General advice on care. When growing arnica, just like other garden plants, you will need to weed and loosen the soil around the bush. However, it should be remembered that the root system is located very superficially and can be damaged with too much "zeal". It is also important to restrain the growth of ram shrubs, since over time all the stems begin to fill the aisles in the flower bed or garden bed. To prevent such "spreading", a new bed should be laid after 4–5 years, the old one should be dug up.
- Arnica collection carried out for the use of its parts for medicinal purposes. Usually flower baskets are subject to harvesting. It is recommended to pluck them in the flowering phase (after mid-June or early July). The collection is carried out from specimens that have reached the age of two. The day for collection is chosen dry, clear, when the dew has already dried up. The basket inflorescences must be cut off at the very base, without capturing the peduncle. Drying the collected arnica material should be done in a dark, well-ventilated room such as an attic. The inflorescences are laid out on paper or on a clean canvas, in a small layer. It is possible outdoors under a canopy in the shade. Usually everything dries up in 7-10 days. If drying is carried out using special devices, then the temperature is set at 55-60 degrees. When drying occurs, it is better not to stir the baskets, otherwise they may crumble. The storage of the dried material without loss of medicinal qualities is possible for up to two years.
- The use of arnica in landscape design. Such bright flowers will look good in group plantings, which are located in flower beds, flower beds or mixborders.
See also tips for planting and caring for a dahlia in the garden.
How to propagate arnica?
Usually, to obtain new ram plants, the seed or vegetative method is used, when the rhizomes of an overgrown adult specimen are divided.
Reproduction of arnica with seedsSowing is recommended in spring or before winter. The planting of seed should be no deeper than 2 cm. After sowing, the soil is watered. When sown in spring, ram shoots can appear in a cold greenhouse after two weeks, and if outdoors, then after two dozen days. The main thing is not to sow too early, as spring frosts can cause harm to young plants. When the shoots of arnica grow up, it is recommended to weed from weeds and irrigate regularly when the soil dries up. It is important that before the onset of cold weather, the seedlings have a growth in the root ash of a rosette of leaves. This will be the key to a successful wintering. Top dressing is performed only after a year has passed from the moment of planting (for the next growing season). The decorativeness of ram shrubs reaches its peak at 3-4 years of development.
With winter sowing, arnica sprouts can be seen only with the onset of spring, when the average temperature is 15 degrees. Weeding and watering will also be required here.
Arnica seeds can often be sown in early spring for seedlings. To do this, peat-sandy soil is poured into the seedling box and the seed is planted. When leaving, ensure good lighting and regular moistening of the soil. If the first shoots appear after 3-4 weeks, then the container with the seedlings is placed in the refrigerator for artificial stratification (aging in cold conditions). This time should be no more than 4–5 days.
After stratification, the arnica seedlings are again placed in a warm and well-lit place. When the ram seedlings that have appeared grow up, they dive in separate pots (it is better to take from pressed peat). A pick is carried out when 1-2 pairs of true leaves unfold on the seedling. After the return frosts recede at the end of May, you can transplant into open ground, while placing the plants at a distance of 45 cm from each other.
Arnica propagation by divisionIf the central part of the plant begins to grow: decorativeness has decreased, and flowering has become scarce, then such a specimen is divided. Both spring and autumn time are suitable for this procedure.
ImportantBe very careful when dividing an arnica bush due to the fragility of the root system.
This is because, although the rhizome itself is powerful, it is located in the ground superficially in a horizontal plane and is easily damaged. Division is carried out with a sharpened shovel or a sharpened knife. To remove the arnica cuttings from the ground, use a garden pitchfork, with the help of which the plant dug around the perimeter will be extracted with the least loss. After removing the cuttings, sprinkle all the media with crushed charcoal or ash and immediately plant them in a new place. After planting, watering is carried out.
The engraftment of such parts of the sheep occurs rather quickly. If the planting was carried out in the spring, then young plants will begin to bloom this summer, but here it is important not to forget about timely watering. When carrying out autumn planting for the winter, cover with spruce branches should be provided to avoid freezing.
Potential Difficulties When Growing Arnica Outdoors
The ram plant, when kept in garden, is practically not exposed to diseases, problems can arise only if the winter months were damp. Then the occurrence of fungal rot is possible. To avoid such problems, it is recommended to carry out treatments with fungicides such as colloidal sulfur, Bordeaux liquid or Fundazol.
Over time, in the central part of the arnica bush, the stems begin to turn yellow, flowering becomes scarce or stops altogether. This is a sign that the plantings are lacking in nutrients or good lighting. The solution to the problem will be transplanting part of the bush to another place or thinning.
When growing ram seedlings, when the humidity is too high, the plants begin to suffer from black leg. With this disease in the root zone, the stems turn black and simply break off. To avoid these problems, it is recommended to dress the seeds in a non-concentrated solution of fungicidal preparations such as Fundazol, Fitosporin or Thiram before sowing.
Also, do not grow the plantings of the ram as a lawn plant, since they are very susceptible to trampling, and their decorative effect can be lost, even if a cat or dog accidentally runs over them. If there are pets in the house, then it is recommended to surround flower beds with such plants with fences or borders.
Read also about the difficulties encountered when growing cymbalaria
Interesting arnica notes and uses
Mainly used for medicinal purposes is the type of mountain arnica (Arnica montana). For a long time, water- or alcohol-based tinctures have been used in veterinary medicine to treat eye diseases in animals. Such drugs help a person to get rid of sprains and bruises. Also in the field of veterinary medicine, tinctures are used as excellent anthelmintic drugs. Despite the fact that in official medicine this representative of the flora was rarely used, it was included in the pharmacopoeial lists of the former USSR. Some peoples use flower baskets as plasters, and tenctures (tinctures) and extracts are prepared on the basis of rhizomes.
All these medicinal features of arnica are due to the content of the following active substances in its parts:
- inflorescences contain lute, which serves to prevent diseases of the eye retina;
- in the grass, scientists have identified acids (malic, lactic and formic) and a large amount of tannins that promote disinfection, resist inflammatory processes and lower blood cholesterol;
- arnicin, causes a bright yellow color of the inflorescences.
It is also customary to prepare oil from arnica, which is famous for its warming effect. It is customary to add this substance to the composition of preparations used for massage, it is especially suitable for athletes who have received injuries (sprains). Knowing about these properties of the ram, it is called in Germany "the grass of the fall." Since the aroma of the oil has herbal notes, it is also introduced into perfumes.
A prepared decoction based on arnica, even in ancient times, was used by folk healers after childbirth, to stimulate uterine contractions, and this remedy also helped to normalize the menstruation regime.
If you squeeze juice from fresh arnica flowers, then such a substance also has medicinal properties. The spinning should be carried out during the flowering period of the ram and used as a preventive measure against seizures that could cause paralysis. To make the taste of such a drink more pleasant, a small amount of bee honey is stirred in it.
In addition, folk medicine men knew about the calming effects of arnica on the human nervous system. This allowed the plant to be used to recover from a stroke (cerebral hemorrhage). The drugs, which included the ram, contributed to the expansion of the vessels of the brain, which was the reason for the persistent therapeutic effect.
Also, a decoction of arnica inflorescences has been used in the fight against skin problems such as rashes, ulcers or boils. If you make a compress on the lips from the flowers that were used in the broth, then this will become a treatment for herpes (cold on the lips).
However, for the reconciliation of funds made on the basis of mountain arnica, there are a number of contraindications:
- any period of pregnancy;
- it is forbidden to take during breastfeeding;
- you can not use essential oil inside due to its high toxicity;
- children's age (less than 3 years old);
- patients with high blood clotting.
If there is an overdose of arnica-based drugs, the patient may suffer from shortness of breath or chills. There may also be manifestations of nausea, stomach pain, and diarrhea. When the dosage was significantly exceeded, then under the influence of drugs from the ram, there is a disruption in the work of the heart muscle.
It is important for the above symptoms to immediately seek medical help.
Arnica inflorescences, due to their aroma, are usually used in the production of alcoholic beverages, and also they and the rhizomes of the ram were used in the field of chemical pharmaceuticals. There are some Western European countries where the foliage of this plant can be used to replace tobacco leaves.
The ram has also been used as an excellent melliferous plant.
Arnica medium (Arnica intermedia)grows in nature on the lands of Eastern Siberia and the Far East of the Russian territory. It is an endemic perennial herb in the area. The height of the stems is 10–30 cm. It grows simple and straight or slightly ascending, formed singly or in several pieces. From the base of the stems, it has pubescence on the surface, which becomes thick, hairy-hairy under the basket itself.
A rosette is formed from several leaves of arnica middle in the root zone. The shape of these leaf plates varies from narrow-lanceolate to elongate-lanceolate, with a narrowing at the base, and a pointed or sharp apex. Both sides of the leaves are covered with long hairs that grow scattered or densely, pressing against the surface.On the edge of the root foliage, there may be very shortened teeth. The leaves on the stems grow sessile, they number 1–2 pairs. Their outlines are more narrowed. In the leaf axils of the stem leaves, the formation of short-stemmed, less developed than the main baskets occurs.
When flowering in July, in arnica medium, on the tops of the stems, inflorescences of a basket are formed, the diameter of which is 4-5 cm. The height of the wrapper is within 1, 2-1, 5 cm, it includes 15-20 leaves with a pointed tip and lanceolate, often taking on a dirty-purple hue. The color of the dried flowers is dark yellow. The basket contains 15-18 pieces of reed flowers, with long tongues, reaching a length of 1.5-2 cm and a width of 3-6 mm. They have from 7 to 9 longitudinally running veins, the apex with three teeth, occasionally three-incised. The length of the tubular flowers reaches 0.6 cm, in the lower part they are covered with protruding hairs, the top is bare.
The fruit of the middle arnica is a fly, growing with a serrated or barely visible serrated beard. The length of the fly is 8–9 mm, which exceeds the size of the tubular flowers and the tube of the marginal ligulate. The achenes are linear in shape, their length does not go beyond 4, 5–5 mm. The color of the achenes is brownish, their surface is densely covered with elongated simple hairs that grow half-pressed or have a direction obliquely upward. Fruits ripen at the end of summer.
Mountain arnica (Arnica montana)occurs under the name Mountain sheep… Perennial with herbaceous growth. The distribution area covers European territories. Preference for growth is given to forests (beech, pine-birch or pine forests), forest edges and meadows, shrub thickets, clearings and meadows. In the mountainous zone, it can rise to the alpine zone (500-1000 m above sea level). Has a protective status in Belarus and the countries of the former USSR. A hibernating plant capable of blooming and fruiting many times during its growing life (polycarpic).
Parts of mountain arnica have a pleasant, unique aroma. The creeping rhizome is distinguished by its branching and horizontal arrangement. Its length is about 15 cm with a thickness of only 1 cm. The accessory root processes are filiform, no more than 1 mm in diameter. The color of the roots is brown or reddish-brown. Old stems leave round scars on the surface of the rhizome from above. Stems grow upright at the top with branching. Their height varies within 15–80 cm. The surface of the stems is covered with pubescence of short simple or glandular hairs. Such a coating is especially dense in the upper part of the shoots.
6–8 leaves in mountain arnica are formed in the 1st year of vegetation. In the 2nd year, a stem appears with 2-3 pairs of leaf plates in the root zone, arranged in a rosette. In it, the foliage grows oppositely. The shape of wide leaf blades is oval or oblong-oval, tapering into a petiole, or the leaves grow almost sessile. The edge is one-piece, the top is blunt. There are 5–7 lateral longitudinal veins, clearly visible from the reverse side of the leaf. The upper side of the foliage is covered with scattered hairy pubescence. The stem also has 2–6 sessile or semi-stalk-embracing leaves. They are whole-edged or occasionally serrated.
Stem leaves of mountain arnica grow oppositely, their length reaches 15–17 cm and a width of about 4–5 cm. The shape of such leaves is oblong or lanceolate. Occasionally, the pair in the lower part can grow oblong-oval. The upper part bears 1 or more leaves with a pointed tip growing alternately with a linear shape. The foliage is dark green above, light greenish below.
The flowering of mountain arnica depends on the place of growth, so it usually takes the period from June to August, and in the highlands from July to September.On the tops of the stems or their lateral branches, 1–3 basket inflorescences are formed. The shape of the baskets is hemispherical. When fully opened, their diameter reaches 2–3 cm. The wrapper is also hemispherical, composed of leaves running in two rows. There are 16-26 of them in a wrapper. The shape of the leaves is lanceolate with a pointed apex. Their color is green, occasionally taking on an anthracite tone. After the inflorescence fades, the leaves are bent down. Leaflets are 1, 4–1, 7 mm long and about 2–5 mm wide. The receptacle, while flowering, has a flat shape, but then becomes convex.
The color of reed flowers in the inflorescence of mountain arnica is egg-yellow, there are 11-20 of them. Ligules in them are three-toothed, the tube is hairy, long, equal in length to the fly. The marginal flowers are sterile, their length is 3 times the wrapper. There can be fifty or more central flowers in the basket, their size is small, bisexual, painted in a dark yellow or orange color scheme. Flowers in baskets begin to bloom from the edges to the central part.
Ripening of fruits of mountain arnica falls on the period of July-September. They are represented by achenes with pointed ends of a cylindrical shape, they have a narrowing towards the base. There are 5–10 grooves on the surface. The length of the achenes is 6–10 mm. They have a well-developed tuft composed of rough hairs growing in one row. The color of the hairs is pale yellowish, their length reaches 1 cm. The achenes are painted in a color ranging from yellowish-green to dark grayish or black. In 1, 3–1, 5 grams, there are about a thousand seeds.
Arnica foliosa (Arnica foliosa)occurs under the name Arnica Chamisso… Perennial with a herbaceous vegetative form. The stems can stretch up to indicators of 0.7 m. The foliage has lanceolate outlines with veins that protrude strongly on its surface. There are small denticles along the edge. The stem grows leafy, at its top a large number of basket inflorescences are formed, reaching 5–6 cm in diameter. All parts of the plant have pubescence. The flowers take on an orange-yellow color, while the leaves of the wrappers are characterized by a greenish-brown tint. The pedicels are shortened.
Related article: How to grow cineraria in a garden and rooms
Video about the cultivation and use of arnica:
Photos of arnica: