We recently hiked into the alpine meadows near Temple Lake, and came across a profusion of one of our favourite flowers, the arnica. They score big points with us three counts: first, they're beautiful; second, they have an unbeatable fragrance (but not in the flower!); and third, they come with a great interpretive story.
For fragrance, anybody who has used a topical arnica cream (to treat bruises and inflammation) might recognize the smell of arnica leaves. This is especially true with Arnica mollis, which we usually call “fuzzy-leafed arnica.” When you rub the leaves, a wonderful, savoury fragrance fills your nose. As is often the case when trying to capture in words what something smells like, the best we can come up with is “indescribable,” but it makes Nadine very happy.
|How we see the arnica: in the visible specturm|
|How an insect sees the arnica: in the ultraviolet spectrum|
Happy flower viewing, everyone!