Crosby's Buckwheat
(Eriogonum crosbyae )
Polygonaceae

Crosby's Buckwheat
Photo Copyright 1984 Julie Kierstead CPC

Description: Low, matted, perennial herb with highly branched stem forming mats 4 to 9-1/4 inches (10-25 cm) across and growing in tufts. Leaves basal, elliptic, long leaf stems, densely white-woolly, 3/8 - 1 inch (1-2.5 cm) long. Flowers abruptly enlarged (capitate), 3/16 -3/8 (5-8 mm) across, on hairy 1 to 2-3/4 inch (3-7 cm) erect stems. Flowers bright yellow.

 Identifying Features:

  1. Mat forming perennial.
  2. 3-7 cm loose woolly flower stems.
  3. Bright yellow capitate heads.
  4. Woolly, elliptic leaves, with long stems (petioles.).

Distribution: Primarily two population groups in Washoe County, Nevada. One occurs primarily west of Hog Ranch Mine scattered over 60 square miles. The other is 15 miles to the north in the Butcher Flat area and south and covers 25 square miles. One isolated population occurs in Humboldt County, Nevada, near the townsite of Sulphur. The plant also occurs in southern Lake County and Harney County, Oregon with a total of 12 small populations. Within the public lands administered by the Surprise Field Office, many populations from Grass Valley Ranch to High Rock Lake and west to Denio Camp. Also in the Butch Flat and lower Hanging Rock Canyon area. Two isolated populations, one in High Rock Canyon and one north of Grassy Rock.

Habitat: Occurs in sagebrush areas on white tuffaceous parent material with little soil development or deep clay soils developed in hydrothermally altered vent areas with rhyolite at 5,100 to 6,000 feet (1554 to 2012 meters). Areas of Crosby's buckwheat (Eriogonum crosbyae )are usually sparsely vegetated outcrops within a sagebrush community. Often occurs with Tiehm's milkvetch (Astragalus tiehmii) or Schoolcraft's cryptantha (Cryptantha schoolcraftii).

Flowering Period: June -July

Similar Plants: Prostrate buckwheat (Eriogonum prociduum) but it occurs mostly in California and has glabrous flower stems. Eriogonum caespitosum but it has reflexed leaf like lobes beneath flower head and Crosby's buckwheat (Eriogonum crosbyae) has none. Eriogonum ovalifolium but it has oval long narrow petioled leaves. Eriogonum douglasii but it has a larger flower head, varying from white to yellow to reddish, with a whorl of leaves midway up the flower stem.

Status: BLM Sensitive, California Native Plant Society NV Watch

 

Identifying Features:

  1. Mat forming perennial.
  2. 3-7 cm loose woolly flower stems.
  3. Bright yellow capitate heads.
  4. Woolly, elliptic leaves, with long stems (petioles.).

 

Glossary of
Plant Terms

Diagram of Plant Parts

Definitions of
Plant Status

Field Office: Surprise