[Balsamroots East of the Cascade Mts.]

Hoary Balsamroot, Woolly Balsamroot

Balsamorhiza incana

Hoary Balsamroot, Woolly Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza incana

The photo above shows hoary balsamroot as seen in grasslands from near Anatone, WA..............June 28, 2006.

Involucral bracts of Hoary Balsamroot, Woolly Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza incanaThe photo at right shows the underside of a flowerhead and bracts of hoary balsamroot from near Anatone, WA..............June 28, 2006. Note the dense woolly coat of hairs on the involucral bracts.
Characteristics:

Hoary balsamroot is a perennial wildflower from 15 to 70 cm tall. It is similar in appearance to Balsamorhiza hookeri and Balsamorhiza hirsuta but has compound pinnate leaves that have wider, untoothed or occasionally coarsely toothed segments.

The leaves of hoary balsamroot are largely basal, with each being as much as 10 - 45 cm long. The segments of the pinnatifid leaves of Hoary Balsamroot may be as much as 4 cm wide. In addition, a pair of smaller, pinnatifid stem leaves are often found above the base of the stem. The stems and leaves are silky-tomentose with numerous long, silky hairs. See the photos of the ventral and dorsal surfaces of the leaves below. The flower heads are solitary and fairly large with a very woolly involucre. Individual bracts are ovate or lanceolate at the base tapering to a point at the tip, which is often reflexed (See photo at right.). Each flower head has about 13 yellow rays of 3 - 6 cm length, although occasionally as many as 21 may be seen.


Habitat:

Hoary balsamroot is found from moist meadows to moderately dry open places at moderate elevations in the mountains. It blooms from late May through early July.


Range:

Hoary balsamroot is found from northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington est through Idaho to northern and west-central Wyoming and south-central Montana.

 


Flower head of Hoary Balsamroot, Woolly Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza incana

The photo above a large flower head of hoary balsamroot from near Anatone, WA..............June 28, 2006.

Pinnately divided leaf of Hoary Balsamroot, Woolly Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza incana

Shown above is the upper surface of a leaf of hoary balsamroot from near Anatone, WA..............June 28, 2006.

Balsamorhiza incana

This photo shows hoary balsamroot as seen along Road #46 at Dougherty Springs in the northern Wallowa-Whitman N.F..................June 26, 2008.

Balsamorhiza incana --- Small leaf of Balsamorhiza incana --- Pinnatifid basal leaf of Balsamorhiza incana --- Balsamorhiza incana

These 4 photos show hoary balsamroot as seen along Road #46 at Dougherty Springs in the northern Wallowa-Whitman N.F..................June 26, 2008. Click each photo to see an enlarged version.

Balsamorhiza incana --- Involucre of Balsamorhiza incana --- Balsamorhiza incana

These 3 photos show hoary balsamroot in bloom as seen on Cabbage Hill off of Interstate 84 to the east of Pendleton, OR in northeastern Oregon................June 25, 2008. Click each photo to see an enlarged view (2x-3x).

Hoary Balsamroot, Woolly Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza incana

The photo above shows hoary balsamroot in its habitat of tall grasses from near Anatone, WA..............June 28, 2006.

Paul Slichter