44. Eriogonum anemophilum Greene, Pittonia. 3: 199. 1897.
Wind-loving wild buckwheat
Herbs, matted, scapose, 0.5-1 × 0.5-3 dm, thinly tomentose to floccose, grayish. Stems spread-ing, with persistent leaf bases, up to 1/ 5 height of plant; caudex stems matted; aerial flowering stems scapelike, erect, slender, solid, not fistulose, 0.6-1(-1.5) dm, thinly tomentose to floccose. Leaves basal, fasciculate in terminal tufts; petiole 0.5-2.5(-3.5) cm, tomentose; blade elliptic to obovate or suborbiculate, (0.7-)0.9-1.5(-2) × (0.3-)0.5-0.9(-1.1) cm, densely white-tomentose abaxially, less so and greenish-tomentose adaxially, margins plane. Inflorescences capitate, 1-1.5 cm; branches absent; bracts 3, triangular, scalelike, 1.5-2 mm. Peduncles absent. Involucres 3-5 per cluster, turbinate to turbinate-campanulate, 2-3.5(-4) × 2-3(-3.5) mm, weakly rigid, floccose at least on teeth; teeth 5-7, erect, 0.4-1 mm. Flowers 2-3(-3.5) mm; perianth creamy white, glabrous; tepals connate proximal 5, monomorphic, oblanceolate; stamens exserted, 2-3 mm; filaments sparsely pubescent proximally. Achenes brown, 2.5-3.5 mm, glabrous, occasionally minutely papillate on beak.
Flowering May-Aug. Volcanic tuffaceous or gravelly to rocky (often limestone) slopes, saltbush and sagebrush communities, pinyon-juniper woodlands; of conservation concern; 1400-2600 m; Nev.
Eriogonum anemophilum, in a strict sense, is known only from the limestone ridges and slopes of Star Peak in the West Humboldt Range of Pershing County. Also included within the present circumscription are plants from tuffaceous hills in Reese River Valley in Lander County, and from scattered sites on low hills in northeastern Eureka and southwestern Elko counties. A third set of populations occurs elsewhere in Pershing County (Jersey Valley and the Tobin and Trinity ranges) and just over the line in Humboldt County. Each group differs slightly from the others, the plants of the mountain ranges tending to be more robust, with obovate to suborbiculate leaf blades, compared to the plants of lower elevations, which have narrower leaf blades. Plants from Eureka and Elko counties have a grayish leaf tomentum, while those from the valleys of Humboldt, Pershing, and Lander counties have a greenish or tawny leaf tomentum. What, if any, taxonomic recognition these groups merit has not been determined.