Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Balsamorhiza incana
hoary balsamroot, woolly balsamroot

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in the southeastern counties in Washington; southeastern Washington to adjacent Oregon, east through Idaho to Montana and Wyoming.

Habitat: Mesic meadows and slopes at lower to moderate elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: May-July

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Perennial from a carrot-like taproot, 1.5-7 dm. tall.


Basal leaves 1-4.5 dm. long, pinnatifid, the divisions 1.5-6 cm. long, entire or with a few coarse teeth, up to 4 cm. wide; a pair of reduced, pinnatifid cauline leaves borne just above the base of the stem; leaves silky with long, soft, tangled hairs.


Heads solitary, large; involucre very woolly, its bracts ovate or lanceolate; rays about 13, pale yellow, 3-6 cm. long.


Achenes glabrous.

Identification Notes:

The silky-woolly hairs throughout the plant should separate B. incana from our other species with pinnatifid leaves, B. hookeri.

Accepted Name:
Balsamorhiza incana Nutt.
Publication: Trans. Amer. Philos. Soc., n. s. 7: 350. 1840.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Balsamorhiza incana in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Balsamorhiza incana checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Balsamorhiza incana atlas page.

CalPhotos: Balsamorhiza incana photos.

USDA Plants: Balsamorhiza incana information.

22 photographs:
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