The flowering balsamroot (balsamhoriza sagittata) signals one thing: Spring on the Rocky Mountain Front. Watch a sea of yellow balsam sway with warm westerly breezes, their bright faces lit against green prairie - summer is just around the corner. On Montana's Rocky Mountain Front, where I live, take any public road west from highway 89 between April and June, and check south-facing slopes and coolies. That's the preferred home of this marvelous, showy flower.
You can also see this big yellow flower in its native habitat throughout the Crown of the Continent. In Alberta, it can be widely found in the mixed-grass fescue prairie of the foothills. On the west side of the Continental Divide, it likes the drier grasslands and open Ponderosa pine forests in the Montana's Flathead and Blackfoot Valleys and British Columbia's Rocky Mountain Trench.
The B.C. Ministry of Environment is conducting a grasslands restoration project in Kikomun Creek Provincial Park, which will help secure habitat for arrowleaf basalmroot in areas where trees have encroached due to decades of fire suppression.