[Balsamroots of the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Deltoid Balsamroot, Northwest Balsamroot, Puget Balsamroot

Balsamhoriza deltoidea

Deltoid Balsamroot, Northwest Balsamroot, Puget Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza deltoidea

The photo above shows northwest balsamroot as seen in a forest meadow near the summit of Grassy Knoll, southern Gifford Pinchot N.F...........May 24, 2007.

Characteristics:

Northwest balsamroot is a perennial with a deep, woody taproot. The basal leaves form a rosette, and are long-petiolate. The blade is mostly triangular-hastate, and may have a cordate base. The leaves are upt to 30 cm long and 20 cm wide. The leaf surfaces may be glandular as well as occasionally rough-haired. The leaves are generally green in color, and less hairy than arrowleaf balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata). The leaves tend to be thinner and less veiny than those of the similar Carey's balsamroot (Balsamorhiza careyana).

The stems are 20-100 cm tall, usually with several very reduced narrow leaves. There may be one to several flower heads atop the stem. The central one is larges, with the lateral heads reduced in size. The disk of the central head is rarely less than 2.5 cm wide. The rays usually number 13, but there may be as many as 21 present. The rays of the larger head range from 2-5 cm long, and they are soon deciduous (dropping off), as compared to Carey's balsamroot where they persist. The involucre is only slightly woolly, with the outer bracts being very large and leaf-like, often surpassing the disk (The outer bracts of Carey's balsamroot are roughly of equal size to the inner bracts.).


Habitat:

Northwest balsamroot is found in open places such as fields, meadows, and prairies. It seems to prefer deeper soils.


Range:

Northwest balsamroot is found primarily west of the Cascade Mts, from southern Vancouver Island south through Puget sound and south to southern California.

In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found as far east as at least Biggs, OR. It is found from 100-4200' in elevation.


Flowerhead and leaf of Deltoid Balsamroot, Northwest Balsamroot, Puget Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza deltoidea

The photo above shows a close-up of a flower and leaf of northwest balsamroot as seen in a forest meadow near the summit of Grassy Knoll, southern Gifford Pinchot N.F...........May 24, 2007.

Deltoid Balsamroot, Northwest Balsamroot, Puget Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza deltoidea - Deltoid Balsamroot, Northwest Balsamroot, Puget Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza deltoidea

Involucral bracts of Deltoid Balsamroot, Northwest Balsamroot, Puget Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza deltoidea - Flower head of Deltoid Balsamroot, Northwest Balsamroot, Puget Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza deltoidea - Involucral bracts of Deltoid Balsamroot, Northwest Balsamroot, Puget Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza deltoidea

Basal leaf of Deltoid Balsamroot, Northwest Balsamroot, Puget Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza deltoidea

Northwest balsamroot as seen in a forest meadow a hundred meters east of the summit of Grassy Knoll, southern Gifford Pinchot N.F..........June 3, 2014.

Deltoid Balsamroot, Northwest Balsamroot, Puget Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza deltoidea - Involucral bracts of Deltoid Balsamroot, Northwest Balsamroot, Puget Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza deltoidea

Flower head of Deltoid Balsamroot, Northwest Balsamroot, Puget Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza deltoidea - Deltoid Balsamroot, Northwest Balsamroot, Puget Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza deltoidea

Involucral bracts of Deltoid Balsamroot, Northwest Balsamroot, Puget Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza deltoidea - Leaf of Deltoid Balsamroot, Northwest Balsamroot, Puget Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza deltoidea

Northwest balsamroot blooming atop Dog Mountain, Columbia River Gorge...........May 7, 2014.

Involucral bracts of Deltoid Balsamroot, Northwest Balsamroot, Puget Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza deltoidea - Deltoid Balsamroot, Northwest Balsamroot, Puget Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza deltoidea - Flower head of Deltoid Balsamroot, Northwest Balsamroot, Puget Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza deltoidea

Northwest balsamroot as seen atop Grassy Knoll, Gifford Pinchot National Forest...........May 15, 2015.

Deltoid Balsamroot, Northwest Balsamroot, Puget Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza deltoidea

What may be northwestern balsamroot as seen on the slopes above Doug's Beach to the east of Lyle, WA in the central Columbia River Gorge.........March 24, 2008. These are probably Carey's balsamroot, or a hybrid between careyana and deltoidea.

Paul Slichter