Plants 6-10(-30) cm. Basal leaves: blades gray-green, oblong to lance-ovate, 3-10(-20) × 2-5 cm (rarely pinnately lobed), bases weakly cordate or truncate, margins crenate to serrate, apices rounded to acute, faces finely strigose to moderately scabrous (usually gland-dotted as well). Heads usually borne singly. Involucres hemispheric, 18-20 mm diam. Outer phyllaries deltate or ovate to lanceolate, 8-12 mm, not surpassing inner. Ray laminae (becoming brick-red, often drying to pink or rose, and chartaceous) (8-)15(-25) mm (hispidulous abaxially; cypselae strigose). 2n = 38.
Flowering Apr-May. Dry hills; 300-400 m; Oreg., Wash.
In a hybrid swarm involving Balsamorhiza rosea and B. careyana, B. rosea remains relatively uncontaminated; the dominance among the hybrids appears to lie with B. careyana. A record of a hybrid between B. rosea and B. careyana from the Spokane area is doubtful.