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Balsamorhiza sagittata - (Pursh.)Nutt.
Common Name Oregon Sunflower, Arrowleaf balsamroot
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Open hillsides and flat land up to moderate elevations, especially on deep soils[60].
Range Western N. America - South Dakota to British Columbia, south to California and Colorado.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun


Balsamorhiza sagittata Oregon Sunflower, Arrowleaf balsamroot

Balsamorhiza sagittata Oregon Sunflower, Arrowleaf balsamroot
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Balsamorhiza sagittata is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower in July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Bupthalmium sagitattum.

 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root;  Seed;  Stem.
Edible Uses: Coffee.

Root - raw or cooked[46, 61, 106, 161, 257]. The root has a thick crown that is edible raw[213]. Roots have a sweet taste when cooked[2, 183]. A long slow baking is best, the Flathead Indians would bake them in a fire pit for at least 3 days[183]. The roots are resinous and woody with a taste like balsam[212]. Young shoots - raw or cooked[161, 257]. Added to salads or used as a potherb[183]. The large leaves and petioles are boiled and eaten[207]. When eaten in large quantities they act like sleeping pills to cause sleepiness[257]. The young flowering stem can be peeled and eaten raw like celery[183, 257]. Seed - raw or cooked[2, 94, 101, 161]. A highly prized source of food[257]. It can be roasted, ground into a powder and used with cereals when making bread[183, 257]. The raw seed can also be ground into a powder then formed into cakes and eaten without cooking[257]. The seed is rich in oil[213]. Oil. The seed was a prized source of oil for many native North Americans[257]. The roasted root is a coffee substitute[177, 183].
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antirheumatic;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Febrifuge;  Odontalgic;  Poultice;  Skin;  Stomachic;  

Oregon sunflower was quite widely employed as a medicinal herb by various native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a variety of complaints, but especially stomach problems[257]. It is little used in modern herbalism. The root is antirheumatic, diuretic, cathartic, diaphoretic, febrifuge and vulnerary[94, 257]. An infusion of the leaves, roots and stems has been used as a treatment for stomach pains, colds, whooping cough, TB, fevers and headaches[257]. A decoction of the root has been taken at the beginning of labour to insure easy delivery[257]. The juice from the chewed root is allowed to trickle down the throat to treat sore mouths and throats whilst the root has also been chewed to treat toothaches[257]. The smoke from the root has been inhaled as a remedy for body aches such as rheumatism[257]. The root is chewed or pounded and used as a paste on wounds, blisters, bites, swellings and sores[207, 257]. A poultice made from the coarse, large leaves has been used to treat severe burns[257]. An infusion of the leaves has been used as a wash for poison ivy rash and running sores[257]. The seeds have been eaten as a treatment for dysentery[257].
Other Uses
Hair;  Insulation.

The large hairy leaves are used as an insulation in shoes to keep the feet warm[99]. An infusion of the root has been rubbed into the scalp to promote hair growth[257].
Cultivation details
Requires a deep fertile well-drained loam in full sun[134, 200]. Plants strongly resent winter wet[134, 200]. Hardy to at least -25°c[200]. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance and should be planted into their permanent positions whilst still small[134]. They withstand heavy grazing in the wild[212].
Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 6 days at 18°c. Either sow the seed in individual pots or pot up the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer[134]. Division in spring. Very difficult since the plant strongly resents root disturbance[134]. It is probably best to take quite small divisions, or basal cuttings, without disturbing the main clump. Pot these up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in the greenhouse until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer if they have grown sufficiently, otherwise over-winter them in the greenhouse and plant out in late spring.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Balsamorhiza deltoideaDeltoid Balsamroot41
Balsamorhiza hookeriBalsam Root, Hooker's balsamroot, Hairy balsamroot, Idaho balsamroot, Rabbithead balsamroot, Negle41
Balsamorhiza incanaHoary Balsamroot31


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Subject : Balsamorhiza sagittata  

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