Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata) is one of the most common blooming perennials in the Great Basin, a species closely related to the sunflower. Balsamroot is easily confused with the species, Wyethia, or commonly known as "Mule's Ear," which although have almost identical blooms and appearance, are largely different due to their range. Wyethia have very sharply lanced leaves which lack the fuzzy silver gray appearance of Balsamroot. If in any doubt, look for that gray fuzz!

Balsamroot can easily be identified by their tall gray fuzzy stems, large leaves, and oversized vibrant yellow petals. Find it commonly growing on dry hillsides and dry open meadows in both ranges and valleys of the Great Basin and Rocky Mountain West. Balsamroot is highly palatable to wildlife and livestock and decreases easily under heavy grazing. They are also very fragile and require a great deal of groundcover, such as rice grass and sagebrush. So then ... the presence of this plant is an excellent indicator of overall range health. In healthy habitats, Balsamroot and Wyethia are notorious for carpeting the landscape. In fact, these plants are usually the first and last of the perennials that stand during the spring and early summer.

Best Blooms of Balsam Root in NevadaEdit

- Carson City (April - June)

Deer Run Road, Prison Hill", Goni Road Ridge

- Churchill County (April - June)

Edwards Creek, Big Den Basin, Stillwater Range

- Douglas County (March - June)

Jacks Valley, Sunrise Pass, Luther Canyon

- Elko County (April - August)

Maggie Summit, Jarbidge Range, Angel Lake Highway

- Esmeralda County (March - June)

Trail Canyon/White Mountains, Monte Cristo Range, Fish Lake Valley

- Eureka County (April - July)

Diamond Peak, Roberts Creek Mountain, Pine Valley

- Humboldt County (March - July)

Santa Rosa Range Canyons, Pine Forest Range (Blue Lakes), Sonoma Creek

- Lander County (April - July)

Groves Lake, Toiyabe Range (Canyons), Hickison Summit

- Lincoln County (March - June)

Bristol Well, Mt. Grafton, Eagle Valley - Ursine

- Lyon County (April - June)

Silver City, Fort Churchill, Sweetwater Range

- Mineral County (April - June)

	Monte Cristo Range

Fletcher Basin/Wassuk Range, Schurz

- Nye County (March - July)

Toiyabe Range (Canyons), Pine Creek/Table Mountain, Shoshone Range

- Pershing County (March - July)

Coal Canyon, Buena Vista Valley, Nightingale Mountains

- Storey County (April - July)

SR 341 (Truck Route), Long Valley/Lousetown, Mt. Davidson

- Washoe County (March - September)

Washoe City/Valley, Pyramid Lake/Lake Range, High Rock Canyon

- White Pine County (May - August)

Success Summit, Duck Creek Basin, Spring Valley