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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Hooker's Balsamroot - Balsamorhiza hookeri
Other Names:  Balsamorhiza hispidula

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S3
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank: 3

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Known in Montana only from the vicinity of Monida and within the Mount Haggin WMA.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Hooker's Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza hookeri) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 05/22/2013
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Population Size

    Score2 - Small: Generally 2,000-10,000 individuals.

    Range Extent

    Score2 - Regional or State Endemic or Small Montana Range: Generally restricted to an area <100,000 sq. miles (equivalent to 2/3 the size of Montana or less) or Montana contributes 50% or more of the species’ range or populations OR limited to 2-3 Sub-basins in Montana.

    CommentPeripheral and sporadically distributed in southwest Montana.

    Area of Occupancy

    Score3 - Very Low: Generally occurring in 3 or fewer Subwatersheds (6th Code HUC’s).

    Environmental Specificity

    Score1 - Moderate: Species is restricted to a specific habitat that is more widely distributed or to several restricted habitats and is typically dependent upon relatively unaltered, good-quality habitat (C Values of 5-7).


    ScoreNA - Rank factor not assessed.

    CommentTrends are unknown, though populations are likely stable, experiencing only minor declines or perhaps even expanding.


    Score0-1 - Low to Medium.

    Intrinsic Vulnerability

    Score0-1 - Low to Moderate Vulnerability.

    Raw Conservation Status Score

    Score 8 to 10 total points scored out of a possible 16 (Rarity factors and threats only).

General Description
Hooker's Balsamroot is a perennial with a leafless flowering stem 10-40 cm tall, arising from a carrot-like taproot. The basal leaves are 10-40 cm long and pinnately-divided into narrow segments. Foliage is pubescent with coarse, firm hairs. The solitary flower heads resemble those of a sunflower. The narrow involucral bracts are long-hairy, at least on margins. The 10-16 yellow rays are 1.5-3.5 cm long. The achene is glabrous.

Our plants are variety hispidula (Sharp) Cronquist

Flowering in late June - early July.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Distinguished from Balsamorhiza incana and B. macrophylla by the rays mostly less than 3 cm long, and foliage with coarse, firm hairs.

Species Range

Range Comments
WA to MT south to CA, AZ and CO (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 5

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Sagebrush steppe.

Ecological Systems Associated with this Species

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Lesica, P., P. Husby, and S. V. Cooper. 1998. Noteworthy collections: Montana. Madrono 45:328-330.
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Citation for data on this website:
Hooker's Balsamroot — Balsamorhiza hookeri.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from