Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: Se. OR to CA, east to central ID, MT, WY, and CO.

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Ariz., Calif., Idaho, Mont., Nev., Oreg., Utah, Wyo.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Herbs, matted, polygamodioecious, (0.1-)0.3-1 × 1-5(-12) dm. Stems: caudex spreading; aerial flowering stems scapelike, ascending to weakly erect, slender, solid, not fistulose, arising at nodes of caudex branches and at distal nodes of short, nonflowering aerial branches, (0.1-)0.3-0.8(-1) dm, mostly floccose or glabrous, without a whorl of bracts. Leaves in compact basal rosettes; petiole 0.05-0.4(-0.7) cm, usually tomentose; blade elliptic to obovate or nearly oval, 0.2-1(-1.5) × 0.15-0.4(-0.5) cm, grayish- to whitish-tomentose on both surfaces or less so and greenish adaxially, margins entire, plane. Inflorescences capitate, 0.5-2 cm wide; branches absent; bracts absent immediately below involucre. Involucres 1 per node, campanulate, 2-3.5 × 2-4 mm; teeth 6-9, lobelike, strongly reflexed, 2-3.5 mm. Flowers 2.5-10 mm, including 0.5-1 mm stipelike base; perianth yellow to reddish or rose, densely pilose to villous abaxially; stamens exserted, 3-4 mm; filaments pilose proximally; staminate flowers shorter, 2.5-4 mm, tepals monomorphic, oblong-oblanceolate; pistillate flowers 2.5-10 mm, tepals slightly dimorphic. Achenes light brown to brown, (3.5-)4-5 mm, glabrous or sparsely pubescent on beak.
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Diagnostic Description

The tapered, stalk-like perianth and the solitary involucre distinguish this species from other mat-forming ERIOGONUM.

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Synonym

Eriogonum sphaerocephalum Bentham var. sericoleucum (Greene ex Tidestrom) S. Stokes
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Ecology

Habitat

Sandy to gravelly flats and slopes, mixed grassland, saltbush, sagebrush, and mountain mahogany communities, oak, pinyon and/or juniper and montane conifer woodlands; (1300-)1500-3000(-3700)m.
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering Apr-Jul.
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Wikipedia

Eriogonum caespitosum

Eriogonum caespitosum is a species of wild buckwheat known by the common name matted buckwheat, or mat buckwheat. This is a common perennial plant native to the western United States from California to Montana, especially the Great Basin. It is also cultivated as a rock garden plant.

This is a tough perennial plant which grows in flat, woody mats in sand and gravel substrates. It has small, fuzzy gray leaves which are scoop-shaped due to their rolled edges. From the mat emerge many erect inflorescences with clusters of greenish-yellow and bright red rounded flowers which hang backwards over the edge of the involucre. Some of the flowers are bisexual and up to a centimeter wide each, and some are only staminate and are much smaller.

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Notes

Comments

Eriogonum caespitosum is widespread and usually common. It is variable throughout its range but no taxonomic subunits have been noted. The functionally staminate plants can be morphologically different from the functionally pistillate ones, and that may cause some confusion in the field, especially when the latter are in fruit. The plants are widely cultivated and worthy of consideration for the rock or sand garden. Plants from along the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada in southern Mono County, California, form large, dense mats and would be most attractive in the garden. The scapelike flowering stem is technically a peduncle, being a further reduction of the inflorescence from that seen in E. douglasii. A specimen supposedly gathered in Nebraska (Abbott s.n., CAS) is discounted as to location.
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