Arnica Montana, also known as Mountain Tobacco, is a yellow-flowered perennial herb native to Europe. Arnica herb typically sells for high prices. It has been used since the Native Americans dominated the continent. Although poisonous large amounts due to the toxin, helenalin, Arnica’s flower and root are used externally for a variety of ailments. It should not be taken internally. Arnica has antibacterial properties and has been used as a preservative. Arnica salves, tinctures and ointments are used to treat everything including bruising, sore wounds, sore muscles, burns, eczema, osteoarthritis, sore throat, chapped lips and ulcers. However, some users can experience rashes. This hardy perennial can reach up to two feet in height with daisy-like flowers typically measuring 3” in diameter. Flowering of Arnica plants occurs anywhere from May through August.
Arnica Montana is typically found growing in meadows with poor soil. The flower is considered hardy to Zone 5. Arnica montanaenjoys a well-draining mix. It tolerates a wide range of soils but prefers a slightly acidic soil. Therefore, soils with lime are not ideal for growing Anrica. Peat moss will help increase the acidity of soil. Sow your seeds 1/8” deep on its side or push the seed like a stake into the soil until the top is even with the surface. Normal germination can take up to 7 weeks. This plant will enjoy partial sun. Water when the soil becomes dry. Arnica is subject to powdery mildew, which can be treated with milk. Cuttings can be made in the early Spring to form new plants.