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

128. Eriogonum jamesii Bentham in A. P. de Candolle and A. L. P. P. de Candolle, Prodr. 14: 7. 1856.

Antelope sage

Herbs or subshrubs, compact or spreading, matted, 0.5-2.5 × 3-15 dm, tomentose to floccose. Stems: caudex absent or spreading; aerial flowering stems erect, slender, solid, not fistulose, usually arising directly from a taproot, 0.5-1.5 dm, tomentose to floccose. Leaves basal, typically not in rosettes; petiole 0.5-6 cm, tomentose to floccose; blade usually narrowly elliptic, 1-3(-3.5) × (0.3-)0.5-1(-1.2) cm, densely tomentose abaxially, thinly tomentose, floccose or glabrous and grayish to greenish adaxially, margins entire, plane or undulate and crisped. Inflorescences umbellate or compound-umbellate, 10-30 × 10-25 cm; branches tomentose to floccose; bracts 3-9, semileaflike at proximal node, 0.5-2 × 0.2-1 cm, often scalelike distally. Involucres 1 per node, turbinate, 1.5-7 × 2-5 mm, tomentose to floccose; teeth 5-8, erect, 0.1-0.5 mm. Flowers 3-8 mm, including 0.7-2 mm stipelike base; perianth white to cream, densely pubescent abaxially; tepals dimorphic, those of outer whorl lanceolate to elliptic, 2-5 × 1-3 mm, those of inner whorl lanceolate to fan-shaped, 1.5-6 × 2-4 mm; stamens exserted, 2-4 mm; filaments pilose proximally. Achenes light brown to brown, 4-5 mm, glabrous except for sparsely pubescent beak.

Varieties 3 (3 in the flora): w North America, including Mexico.

Eriogonum jamesii is a nectar source for the rare Spalding dotted-blue butterfly (Euphilotes spaldingi).

Eriogonum jamesii and E. arcuatum (see below) are considered “life medicines” and used ceremonially by Native Americans (C. Arnold, pers. comm.; A. B. Reagan 1929; P. A. Vestal 1952).

1 Leaf margins undulate, frequently crisped; flowers 3-5(-6) mm; se Arizona, s New Mexico, sw Texas   128c var. undulatum
+ Leaf margins plane, not crisped; flowers 4-8 mm; e Arizona, c and s Colorado, wc Kansas, New Mexico, w Oklahoma, n and w Texas   (2)
2 (1) Inflorescences compound-umbellate; e Arizona, c and s Colorado, New Mexico, w Oklahoma, n and w Texas   128a var. jamesii
+ Inflorescences simple-umbellate; wc Kansas   128b var. simplex


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