Trans. Amer. Philos. Soc., n. s. 7: 350. 1840.
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 oblanceolate or linear, (15–)20–25(–30+) mm, equaling or surpassing inner, apices acute to acuminate. Ray laminae 20–40 mm. 2n = 38.
Phenology: Flowering (Apr–)May–Jun(–Jul).
Habitat: Openings, banks, flats, meadows, ridges, sagebrush scrub, conifer forests
Elevation: (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).