Eriogonum microthecum
slenderbush buckwheat
WTU specimens
Other herbaria

Distribution: East edge of the Cascades in Washington to the southern Sierra of California, east to Montana, Colorado and New Mexico.

Habitat: Sandy deserts to lower mountain slopes, chiefly with sagebrush.

Flowers: June - August

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Scraggly, woody perennial with a few, leafy stems to 4 dm. tall, and a much-branched inflorescence with tiny, terminal flower clusters.


Leaves alternate, linear to oblong or narrowly obovate, 1-3 cm long, narrowed gradually to a short petiole, gray-woolly beneath and greenish but with some hairs above, crowded along the lower half of the stem.


Inflorescence freely branching, open, flat-topped, 2-20 cm. long; involucres borne singly, 2-2.5 mm. long, with short, scarious-margined teeth; tepals top-shaped, 2-2.5 mm. long, white to pink or yellow, the rounded lobes somewhat longer than the tube, without a stipe at the base.



Identification Notes:

The scraggly, leafy stems that are woody for about the lower third are unique among the Eriogonums in our area.

Accepted Name:
Eriogonum microthecum Nutt.
Publication: Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia. 4: 15. 1848. (as microtheca).

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
var. laxiflorum – slenderbush buckwheat    East of the Cascades in Washington, primarily in the central and southeastern regions; Washington south to California, east to Montana and south to Arizona.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Eriogonum microthecum in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Eriogonum microthecum checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Eriogonum microthecum atlas page.

CalPhotos: Eriogonum microthecum photos.

USDA Plants: Eriogonum microthecum information.

15 photographs:
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