Balsamorhiza sagittata

arrowleaf balsamroot

Habit: this perennial grows in dense to sparse mounds reaching 2 ft (60 cm) stemming from a substantial woody taproot. Its large silvery gray, arrow-shaped leaves, formed at the base of the plant, can be 6 in (15cm ) wide and 11 in (30 cm) long are covered with felt-like hairs. Several almost leafless stalks grow from the root crown with a single flower head at the tip. The sunflower like flower heads are vivid yellow and between 2.5-5 in (7-13 cm) wide. It usually flowers from April to May, fruits mature in early summer, and then the whole plant dies back for a year.

Ecology: arrowleaf balsamroot is adapted to plains, valleys, open forests, ridges and low mountain ranges between 1000-9500 ft (300-2900 m).  It is also found on well-drained soils in open, fairly dry situations, including south-facing slopes.

Growing Conditions: full sun to partial shade, well-drained deep soils, and drought tolerant.

Good forage for animals, deer mice eat the seeds. It can be used as an excellent soil stabilizer.

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Type: Deciduous Herbaceous Perennial
Height: 1-2 ft (20-60 cm)
Width: 20-24 in (50-60 cm)
USDA Zones: 5-10
Map courtesy of USDA-NRCS Plants Database.