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Buckwheat Family (Polygonaceae). Sulfur flower buckwheat is a native, low-growing woody perennial commonly found on hot dry sunny exposures on rocky slopes and ridges throughout the west. It is native to western mountainous regions at elevations of 2,500 to 10,000 feet. Sulfur flower buckwheat requires well-drained sandy or gravelly soils with low fertility and will not tolerate saturated soils.
The plant forms low, broad mats with individual clumps reaching one foot high to two feet across. Leaves are one inch long, shiny green on top and woolly underneath. Flower stems 3 inches to 16 inches tall, are topped by clusters of tiny sulfur-yellow flower heads. Flowers range from yellow to orange or reddish, both in bloom and in mature seed heads. Flower displays can color entire slopes starting in June at lower elevations and continue into August at higher elevations.