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Remarks (internal):The lectotype is PUR 37548 on Balsamorhiza macrophylla Nutt., Salt Lake City, Utah, M.E. Jones, May 1881. The first Canadian collection is from Kamloops, made in 1889 by John Macoun.
Although the host plant, B. saggitata, is known in southwestern Alberta, the rust has not been recorded from there. It is known to occur in the states south of Alberta-British Columbia extending to Colorado and California on other Balsamorhiza spp. The closely related Wyethia also bears this rust and there is much overlap in the range of the hosts to permit cross inoculation between them. Wyethia is not known in Canada.
Spore characters of P. balsamorhizae are somewhat like those of P. mirifica Diet. & Holw. which attacks species of Borrichia. Borrichia is limited to southeastern U.S.A. (and Texas) and the two rusts therefore do not occur together. However, on rust characters alone, they can be differentiated. P. mirifica has systemic telia, and the teliospores are slightly larger with thicker walls having more widely spaced verrucae. (Parmelee, J.A. The autoecious species of Puccinia on Heliantheae in North America. Can. J. Bot. 45: 2267-2327. 1967.).
Balsamorhiza saggitata is a perennial with a deep-seated, woody taproot and it is well-suited to the dry open hillsides and flats of moderate elevations such as found in the Okanagan, Fraser and Chilcotin regions of B.C. In some locations it has become a formidable weed taking over large open grazing areas. Rust on the leaves can be severe enough to cause some disruption in photosynthesis, but severe incidence usually does not occur until the growing season is well advanced, in effect negating possible host control by the fungus.
 
Description type:Non-original description 
Description:Puccinia balsamorhizae Peck, Bull. Torr. Bot. Club 11: 49. 1884.
= Trichobasis balsamorhizae Peck, Bull. Torr. Bot. Club 6: 276. 1881.
= Trichobasis wyethiae Peck, Bot. Gaz. 7: 45. 1882.
Pycnia subepidermal, amphigenous, costal, flask-shaped. Aecia absent. Uredinia - (primary) amphigenous, brown, costal, associated with pycnia, pulverulent; - (secondary) amphigenous, brown, laminar, scattered, pulverulent. Urediniospores globoid, broadly obovoid, or narrowly ellipsoid, flattened, 25-36.8 x 19-32 µm; wall yellow-brown, 1.6-3.2 µm thick, finely echinulate except bare area below pores; pores 2, superequatorial to equatorial. Telia amphigenous, dark brown, localized, pulverulent. Teliospores narrowly to broadly ellipsoid with rounded ends, not or slightly constricted at septum, 29-43.2(-51.5) x 19.2-27.2 µm; wall red-brown 1.6-3.2 µm thick, densely shallowly verrucose, warts 0.7-1.4 diam. and 0.7-1.4 spacing; pore 1 apical to slightly depressed in upper cell, and 1 half depressed to nearly basal in lower cell; pedicel hyaline, fragile.
Host: Balsamorhiza saggitata (Pursh) Nutt. (Compositae, Heliantheae).
Distribution: B.C. only. Wardner and Vernon west to Summerland and Alexis Creek on the Chilcotin Plateau.
 
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