Tall Woolly Buckwheat

Tall woolly buckwheat is common name for Eriogonum elatum. Tall buckwheat, tall wild buckwheat, and rush buckwheat are other names for this member of the Buckwheat Family (Polygonaceae). This perennial native grows on open sagebrush flats in sandy to gravelly soil and other dry, rocky sites between 2,000 and 10,000 feet. It can be found in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho and Nevada.

The basal, upward-pointing leaves are large and lance-shaped with prominent white midveins. The leaves are covered with short white hairs, especially on the underside.

The tall woolly buckwheat inflorescences are compact, spherical clusters at the tips of the branched, leafless stems and also in the branching nodes. White to partially reddish flowers have 6 spreading white lobes with a greenish/pinkish stripe down the center of each lobe. There are 9 white stamens topped by reddish pink anthers.

The genus name comes from Greek and means woolly joint (“erio”/wool and “gonu”/joint) because some members of the genus have hairy joints. The species designation means “tall”.

These tall woolly buckwheat specimens were photographed along Modoc National Forest Road 40N11 near Adin CA (Modoc County) in July.

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1 Response to Tall Woolly Buckwheat

  1. tonytomeo says:

    Hey, this is one that I think I actually remember! I know it is an obscure species, but I believe that someone pointed it out way up in the very northern extremity of California, or perhaps near Susanville. It looked like a stretched version of the buckwheat that is more common on the Central Coast. I might have seen it in Kern County. I looked up its natural range to see that it is not native to San Luis Obispo County, where I saw something similar.

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