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

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Larry Halverson     (Photo ID #58499)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Balsamorhiza sagittata
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

USDA Species Characteristics

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


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)
885 170 2854
Slope Gradient (%)
33 0 202

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

194 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 0 6
Modal Nutrient Regime
# 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)

Habitat and 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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia