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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 21 | Asteraceae | Balsamorhiza

1. Balsamorhiza sagittata (Pursh) Nuttall, Trans. Amer. Philos. Soc., n. s. 7: 350. 1840.

Buphthalmum sagittatum Pursh, Fl. Amer. Sept. 2: 564. 1813; Balsamorhiza helianthoides (Nuttall) Nuttall; Espeletia helianthoides Nuttall; E. sagittata (Pursh) Nuttall

Plants (15–)20–40(–65) cm. Basal leaves: blades ± silvery to white or gray-green, rounded-deltate or deltate to triangular-deltate, 5–25 × 3–15 cm, bases ± cordate, margins entire, apices acute to attenuate, faces sericeous, tomentose, tomentulose, or velutinous (at least abaxially, usually gland-dotted as well), sometimes glabrescent. Heads usually borne singly, sometimes 2–3+. Involucres hemispheric to turbinate, 12–25 mm diam. Outer phyllaries lanceolate to oblance-olate or linear, (15–)20–25(–30+) mm, equaling or surpassing inner, apices acute to acuminate. Ray laminae 20–40 mm. 2n = 38.

Flowering (Apr–)May–Jun(–Jul). Openings, banks, flats, meadows, ridges, sagebrush scrub, conifer forests; (100–)900–2500(–3000) m; Alta., B.C.; Ariz., Calif., Colo., Idaho, Mont., Nev., Oreg., S.Dak. , Utah, Wash., Wyo.

Balsamorhiza sagittata grows east of the Cascade-Sierra axis to the Rocky Mountains and Black Hills. It is one of the more spectacular of all spring-flowering plants in the northwestern United States. Hybrids occur along lines of contact between B. sagittata and almost all species of sect. Balsamorhiza except B. macrophylla (a high polyploid).


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