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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Balsamorhiza sagittata (Pursh) Nutt.
Arrowleaf balsamroot, Arrow-leaf balsamroot
USDA Symbol: BASA3
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
This perennialís large, silvery arrowhead to heart-shaped leaves, 6 in. wide and 12 in. long, form impressive tufts. A woody taproot gives rise to several 8-24 in. stems, each bearing a solitary, 2 1/2-4 in. wide, yellow, sunflower-like flower. An almost leafless stalk with 1 large bright yellow flower head at tip grows from a basal cluster of large silvery-gray leaves covered with felt-like hairs.
Indians prepared medicine from the roots. The very similar Deltoid Balsam Root (B. deltoidea), found in open places in California, western Oregon, and Washington, is only sparsely hairy, is much greener, and drops its rays soon after flowering. Several species of Balsamorhiza have pinnately divided leaves.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul
AZ , CA , CO , ID , MT , ND , NV , OR , SD , UT , WA , WY Canada: AB
, BC Native Distribution:
S. B.C. to MT, s., e. of the Cascades, to CA & NM; also Black Hills Native Habitat:
Sandy plains & forest openings; 4000-8000 ft. USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Deep, sandy or gravelly soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available
BenefitUse Food: Native
Americans used to eat the starchy roots, seeds, and tender young shoots. Conspicuous Flowers:
PropagationDescription: The plant takes poorly to transplanting, thus seeds should be used for propagation.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Seeds require prolonged cool-moist stratification and then incubation at cold temperatures for germination.
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Native Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
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Record Modified: 2010-09-02
Research By: TWC Staff