E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Balsamorhiza sagittata (Pursh) Nutt.
arrowleaf balsamroot
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Larry Halverson  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #58499)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Balsamorhiza sagittata
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a deep taproot and woody stem-base; stems ascending, few to several, minutely glandular and short-woolly, 20-80 cm tall.
Basal leaves long-stalked, the blades mostly triangular, 10-50 cm long, 10-20 cm wide, silvery, especially beneath, with fine, close, felt-like woolly hairs, green with age, entire; stem leaves several, lanceolate to spoon-shaped, greatly reduced.
Heads with ray and disk flowers, solitary (rarely few), the disk 2.5 cm or more, the lateral heads, if present, smaller; involucral bracts lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, slightly woolly, the outer ones 1-2.5 cm long and herbaceous, exceeding the inner ones; ray flowers 8-25, commonly 13 or 21 in a terminal head, yellow, 2.5-4.0 cm long, soon deciduous; disk flowers 6-8 mm long, yellow.
Achenes glabrous, 7-8 mm long; pappus lacking.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Spring to Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry grasslands, shrublands and open forests in the steppe and montane zones; common in S BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; E to AB, S to SD, CO and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Balsamorhiza sagittata

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 170 885 2854
Slope Gradient (%) 0 33 202
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 194 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 6
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(5), BG(157), ESSF(32), ICH(20), IDF(580), MS(66), PP(304)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References