[Balsamroots: The Genus Balsamorhiza East of the Cascade Mts. of Oregon and Washington]


Hooker's Balsamroot

Balsamorhiza hookeri

Synonym: Balsamorhiza hookeri var. lagocephala

Hooker's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza hookeri (Synonym: Balsamorhiza hookeri var. lagocephala) - Hooker's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza hookeri (Synonym: Balsamorhiza hookeri var. lagocephala)

The photo at left shows Hooker's balsamroot as seen along Cowiche Mill Road, several miles west of Yakima, WA...............March 28, 2007. The leaves of big head clover can also be seen. The photo at right shows Hooker's balsamroot as seen along Reecer Creek Road, Wenatchee National Forest........June 5, 2009.

Characteristics:

Perennial wildflower of basal leaves and clusters of single-flowered stems. The flower is of a typical balsamroot, with a large central disk of yellow disk flowers surrounded by yellow ray flowers. There are typically 10 to 16 ray flowers, which may each be 15 to 35 mm in length. The stems are upright, but often arch to the side, and may have one or several linear, entire, or toothed-pinnatifid bracts near the base. The stems may reach to 40 cm in height. The basal leaves are 10 to 40 cm long, pinnatifid, with the segments being once to twice pinnate.


Habitat:

Hooker's balsamroot may be found in dry open, rocky outcrops in the foothills and lowlands.


Range:

Hooker's balsamroot may be found east of the Cascade Mountains from central Washington east to southwest Wyoming and northwest Colorado, south to southern Utah and California. Except for variety hirsuta, the species is absent from eastern Oregon.


Hooker's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza hookeri (Synonym: Balsamorhiza hookeri var. lagocephala) - Hooker's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza hookeri (Synonym: Balsamorhiza hookeri var. lagocephala)

Hooker's balsamroot as seen fading out of bloom in open oak forest adjacent to scablands at Brooks Memorial State Park, north of Goldendle, WA........May 4, 2021. 2021 was an abnormally warm and dry year, so this and other species bloomed earlier than normal.

Flower head of Hooker's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza hookeri (Synonym: Balsamorhiza hookeri var. lagocephala) - Woolly involucral bracts of Hooker's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza hookeri (Synonym: Balsamorhiza hookeri var. lagocephala)

Close-up of the flower head and woolly involucral bracts of Hooker's balsamroot as seen along Reecer Creek Road, Wenatchee National Forest.........June 5, 2009.

Flower head of Hooker's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza hookeri (Synonym: Balsamorhiza hookeri var. lagocephala) - Involucral bracts of Hooker's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza hookeri (Synonym: Balsamorhiza hookeri var. lagocephala)

Close-ups of the flower head and invoucral bracts of Hooker's balsamroot as seen on BLM lands in Cowiche Canyon, to the west of Yakima, WA.........March 28, 2007. Note how woolly the hairs on the bracts are.

Hooker's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza hookeri (Synonym: Balsamorhiza hookeri var. lagocephala) -

The photo above of shows Hooker's balsamroot as seen on BLM lands in Cowiche Canyon, to the west of Yakima, WA.........March 28, 2007. Note the pinnatifid basal leaves.

Flower head of Hooker's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza hookeri (Synonym: Balsamorhiza hookeri var. lagocephala)

The photo above of shows another close-up of the flower head of Hooker's balsamroot as seen on BLM lands in Cowiche Canyon, to the west of Yakima, WA..........March 28, 2007.

Hooker's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza hookeri (Synonym: Balsamorhiza hookeri var. lagocephala) - Hooker's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza hookeri (Synonym: Balsamorhiza hookeri var. lagocephala)

Hooker's balsamroot observed on open meadow slopes south of Box Canyon Road near the southern boundary of the Simcoe Mountains Unit of the Klickitat Wildlife Area......April 15, 2021.

Hooker's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza hookeri (Synonym: Balsamorhiza hookeri var. lagocephala) - Hooker's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza hookeri (Synonym: Balsamorhiza hookeri var. lagocephala)

Hooker's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza hookeri (Synonym: Balsamorhiza hookeri var. lagocephala)

Hooker's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza hookeri (Synonym: Balsamorhiza hookeri var. lagocephala)

Hooker's balsamroot as seen at the junction of forest service roads 35 and 3517 on Table Mountain, Wenatchee National Forest...........June 4, 2013.

Paul Slichter