Eriogonum microtheca
slender buckwheat

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in central Washington; central Washington to California, east to the Rocky Mountains.

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

Flowers: June-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bumblebees, bees, flies, butterflies, beetles, wasps


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

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Eriogonum microthecum Nutt., orthographic variant
Additional Resources:

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

WA Flora Checklist: Eriogonum microtheca checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Eriogonum microtheca information.

E-Flora BC: Eriogonum microtheca atlas page.

CalPhotos: Eriogonum microtheca photos.

USDA Plants: Eriogonum microtheca information.

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