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Common name: Arrowleaf Balsamroot
Scientific name: Balsamorhiza sagittata
Duration: Perennial
Family: Sunflower family (Asteraceae)
Habitat: Hillsides, prairies, valleys in well drained deep soils from moderate to high elevations, typical for bunchgrass sites. Also found in lower open montane forests of ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir.
Blooming period: Early Spring
Color: Yellow
Height: 24
Planting Time: Fall/Winter; 90-days stratification required

Pronunciation: Balsamorhiza sagittata (ball-sam-oh-RYE-za saj-ih-Tay-tuh)

Forage Value: Valuable forage for elk, deer, and bighorn in spring when leaves are succulent. Flowers are most palatable.

Historic Uses: The Nez Perce peeled the flower stalks before bloom and ate like celery. They also ground the dried seed into a flour and mixed with fat. The Cheyenne would drink boiled decoctions of the roots, stems and leaves to treat stomach pains and headaches. The entire plant is edible to humans.


Miscellany: Arrowleaf balsamroot is highly resistant to fire due to its woody caudex (the woody base of some perennial plants). Following fire, this plant is a rapid responder and will see prolific seed production the second year after the fire. This plant is very competitive in bunchgrass sites.

Further Resources:
USDA Plant Guide for Arrowleaf Balsamroot





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1461 Thorn Creek Road, Genesee, Idaho 83832

208.596.9122