Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Eriogonum umbellatum
sulfur buckwheat, sulfurflower

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, east to the Rocky Mountains.

Habitat: Sagebrush deserts to alpine rocky ridges.

Flowers: June-September

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

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


A variable, freely-branching perennial, usually forming low mats up to 6 dm. broad, but occasionally the branches ascending to 3 dm.


Variable, oblong to broadly obovate, acute or rounded, gradually or abruptly narrowed to a slender petiole, the blade 1-3 cm. long and the petiole 1/3 to equal length, usually gray-wooly on the under surface and green on the top.


Flowering stems up to 30 cm. longer but usually much shorter, leafless or with 1 or more small, scattered bracts; inflorescence a simple or compound, open umbel, the rays subtended by whorls of narrow bracts; involucre narrowly cup-shaped, the lobes 2-3 mm. long, about equal to the tube, usually reflexed; tepals glabrous, usually cream to yellow with a stipitate base, the lobes 2.5-4 mm. long, lengthening to up to 7 mm. in fruit.

Identification Notes:

The large mat of green leaves which are gray on the under surface, and the yellow or cream flowers will usually identify this species.

Accepted Name:
Eriogonum umbellatum Torr.
Publication: Ann. Lyceum Nat. Hist. New York. 2: 241. 1827.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

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

WA Flora Checklist: Eriogonum umbellatum checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Eriogonum umbellatum information.

E-Flora BC: Eriogonum umbellatum atlas page.

CalPhotos: Eriogonum umbellatum photos.

USDA Plants: Eriogonum umbellatum information.

121 photographs:
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