[Balsamroots East of the Cascade Mts. of Oregon and Washington]

Carey's Balsamroot

Balsamorhiza careyana

Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia

Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia)

The photo above shows Carey's balsamroot as seen in the Horse Heaven Hills near Benton City, WA.........April 28, 2006. Note the shiny green surface to the leaves with creamy main veins of this species.

Involucral bracts of Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia)The photo at right shows the upper stem and multiple flower heads characteristic of Carey's Balsamroot as seen in the Horse Heaven Hills near Benton City, WA.........April 28, 2006.
Characteristics:

The large, flat flower heads of Carey's balsamroot have a 2.5 cm wide yellowish central disk surrounded by 8 or 13 yellow ray flowers. The ray flowers persist on the flower head after bloom. Flower heads may be solitary to several per leafless stem, with the terminal head larger on variety intermedia. Variety intermedia may also have up to 21 rays. The leaves are up to 30 cm long and up to 15 cm wide. The blades are heart-shaped to triangular-hastate. Plants range from 20 to 100 cm high and the herbage ranges from smooth to glandular. One to five flower heads are found atop the stems. The involucre ranges from 2-2.5 cm high with the stiff bracts very gradually narrowed from the base to the tip. The rays generally measure 1.5 to 2 cm long, shorter than those of the two similar balsamroots listed below. Carey's balsamroot flowers from March into June.

Carey's balsamroot is significantly less hairy than Balsamorhiza sagittata, with the leaves being a bright green. The involucre is also only slightly haired or woolly in contrast to the woolly involucre of B. sagittata.

Although similar to Balsamorhiza deltoidea, Carey's balsamroot keeps the dry papery rays after flowering has completed while this trait does not appear in the former species (these two species do approach each other in the mid Columbia River Gorge, but hybridization evidently does not occur).


Habitat:

Carey's balsamroot is found in dry open habitats from the lowlands extending well up into the mountains.. It has a preference for the deeper soils on sloping ground rather than the rocky hilltops.


Range:

Carey's balsamroot may be found entirely east of the Cascade Mountains from south-central British Columbia through central Washington into north-central Oregon.


Tardily deciduous rays of Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia)

Close-up of the tardily deciduous rays stuck to an achenes near the time the seed will be ripe. Seen at the Lake Lenore Wildlife Managment Area north of Soap Lake, Washington........2, 2013.

Leaf of Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia)

Leaf of Carey's Balsamroot along Highway 97 in Yakima Indian Reservation......5/10/97.

Involucral bracts of Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia) - Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia) - Leaf of Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia)

The photo above shows a close-up of the involucral bracts, a leaf and whole plant of Carey's balsamroot as seen in oak woods near the confluence of the Klickitat and Little Klickitat River in south-central Washington.........April 13, 2007.

Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia) - Crown of a dead Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia)

Carey's balsamroot as seen on sand dunes atop the White Bluffs (north), Hanford Reach National Monument...........April 26, 2014. The photo at right shows a dead crown and taproot of Carey's balsamroot which was exposed by wind to give an idea of its size. The crown and exposed root are about the diameter of the hitting end of a baseball bat.


Carey's Balsamroot, Intermediate Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonym: Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia) - Basal leaf of Carey's Balsamroot, Intermediate Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonym: Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia) - Multiple flower heads of Carey's Balsamroot, Intermediate Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonym: Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia)

Additional photos of Carey's balsamroot as seen along the Bickleton Highway where it descends the eastern slope down to Rock Creek, Klickitat County...........April 18, 2010.

Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia) - Flower head of Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia)- Involucral bracts of Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia)

Flower head of Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia) -Involucral bracts of Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia)

Ventral leaf details of Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia) - Dorsal leaf details of Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia)

Carey's balsamroot as seen along FS Road 4040 north of Lame Dog Creek, Ochoco National Forest.........May 11, 2017.

Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia) - Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia)

The photo at left shows Carey's balsamroot as seen along Cowiche Mill Road about 10 miles west of Yakima, WA...........March 28, 2007. Carey's balsamroot as seen right along Reecer Creek Road just inside the Wenatchee National Forest boundary.........June 3, 2013.

Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia) - Leaf of Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia)

Carey's balsamroot as seen along Oregon Highway 218 about one mile east of a pass between Antelope, OR and Clarno, OR........May 15, 2010.

Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia) - Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia)

Carey's balsamroot as seen along the Hard Stone Trail along the west bank of the John Day River, Cottonwood Canyon State Park.........May 3, 2017.

Involucral bracts of Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia) - Leaf of Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia) - Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia)

Carey's balsamroot as seen along Forest Road 22 about 0.3 miles west of the junction with Forest Road 22-400, Ochoco National Forest.........May 10, 2017.

Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia) - Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia)

Carey's balsamroot as seen (left) at Brooks Memorial State Park near Satus Pass, Washington..........May 11, 2014. The photo at right shows Carey's balsamroot blooming along the Gray Butte Trail #852, Crooked River National Grassland..........May 20, 2017.

Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia) - Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia)

Carey's balsamroot beginning to bloom at left high on the slopes directly northwest of the Cottonwood Canyon State Park campground........February 22, 2015. The photo at right shows Carey's balsamroot blooming atop Bickleton Ridge in the Bickleton Ridge Unit of the Klickitat Wildlife Area.........May 7, 2017.

Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia) - Inflorescence of Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia) - Leaves of Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia)

Carey's balsamroot beginning to bloom high on the slopes directly northwest of the Cottonwood Canyon State Park campground........February 22, 2015.

Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia) - Involucral bracts of Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana (Synonyms: Balsamorhiza careyana var. careyana, Balsamorhiza careyana var. intermedia)

Carey's Balsamroot from the Rattlesnake Hills northeast of Toppenish, WA....5/10/97.

Paul Slichter