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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 5 | Polygonaceae | Eriogonum

29. Eriogonum ephedroides Reveal, Madroño. 19: 295, fig. 4. 1969.

Ephedra wild buckwheat

Eriogonum brevicaule Nuttall var. ephedroides (Reveal) S. L. Welsh

Herbs, erect, not scapose, 2-3.5 × 2-3(-4) dm, glabrous, grayish green. Stems spreading, without persistent leaf bases, up to 8 height of plant; caudex stems absent; aerial flowering stems erect, slender, solid, not fistulose, 1-2 dm, glabrous, tomentose among leaves. Leaves basal, 1 per node; petiole 0.5-1 cm, glabrous; blade lanceolate, 1.5-2.5 × 0.2-0.3 cm, densely white-tomentose abaxially, mostly glabrous and green adaxially, margins plane. Inflorescences narrowly cymose, 15-25 × 5-15 cm; branches dichotomous, upper secondaries suppressed, glabrous; bracts 3, linear to triangular, scalelike, 1-4(-7) mm. Peduncles erect, 0.5-1.5 cm at proximal nodes, 0.1-0.5 cm at distal nodes. Involucres 1 per node, turbinate, 2-2.5 × 1-1.5 mm, glabrous; teeth 5, erect, 0.4-0.5 mm. Flowers 2-2.5 mm; perianth ochroleucous to pale yellow or, rarely, yellow, glabrous; tepals connate proximal 1/ 4, monomorphic, lanceolate; stamens exserted, 1.5-2 mm; filaments pilose proximally. Achenes brown, 2-2.5 mm, glabrous.

Flowering Jun-Oct. Shale and clay flats and slopes, saltbush and sagebrush communities, pinyon-juniper woodlands; 1500-2100 m; Colo., Utah.

Eriogonum ephedroides is infrequently encountered in eastern Uintah County, Utah, and western Rio Blanco County, Colorado. The narrow, upright flowering stems and inflorescence branches and the strictly basal leaves quickly set the species apart from E. viridulum. This is a species of potential horticultural value, being an elegant addition to the garden because of its habit.


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