Plants 6–10(–30) cm. Basal leaves: blades gray-green, oblong to lance-ovate, 3–10(–20) × 2–5 cm (rarely pinnately lobed), bases weakly cordate or truncate, margins crenate to serrate, apices rounded to acute, faces finely strigose to moderately scabrous (usually gland-dotted as well). Heads usually borne singly. Involucres hemispheric, 18–20 mm diam. Outer phyllaries deltate or ovate to lanceolate, 8–12 mm, not surpassing inner. Ray laminae (becoming brick-red, often drying to pink or rose, and chartaceous) (8–)15(–25) mm (hispidulous abaxially; cypselae strigose). 2n = 38.
Phenology: Flowering Apr–May.
Habitat: Dry hills
Elevation: 300–400 m
In a hybrid swarm involving Balsamorhiza rosea and B. careyana, B. rosea remains relatively uncontaminated; the dominance among the hybrids appears to lie with B. careyana. A record of a hybrid between B. rosea and B. careyana from the Spokane area is doubtful.