Page authors: David Giblin, Don Knoke
Eriogonum niveum
snow buckwheat

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to Oregon, east to Idaho.

Habitat: Sagebrush desert, dry ponderosa pine forest openings, in deep or sandy soil.

Flowers: June-September

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Freely-branched perennial with a woody base, occasionally prostrate, but usually erect, the many branches forming a clump up to 4 dm. tall and wide.


Leaves tufted, mostly basal, 1.5-6 cm. long, the blade oblong-ovate to broadly lanceolate, about the same length as the petiole, densely gray-woolly on both sides.


Flowering stems are several times di- or trichotomously branched, forming a large inflorescence that is gray-woolly throughout. Involucres 3-4 mm. long, conic, usually with 3 erect teeth, borne singly throughout the inflorescence and subtended by a pair of leafy bracts. Tepals 6, cream to pink, 3-4 mm. long, the outer segments oblong and twice as broad as the inner segments.


3-angled achene

Identification Notes:

The leafy bracts below the flowers throughout the inflorescence separates E. niveum from the similar E. strictum, which has no leafy bracts.

Accepted Name:
Eriogonum niveum Douglas ex Benth.
Publication: Trans. Linn. Soc. London. 17: 414. 1836.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Eriogonum niveum Douglas ex Benth. ssp. decumbens (Benth.) S. Stokes
Eriogonum niveum Douglas ex Benth. ssp. dichotomum (Douglas ex Benth.) S. Stokes
Additional Resources:

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

WA Flora Checklist: Eriogonum niveum checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Eriogonum niveum atlas page.

CalPhotos: Eriogonum niveum photos.

USDA Plants: Eriogonum niveum information.

54 photographs:
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