98c. Eriogonum ovalifolium Nuttall var. ochroleucum (Small ex Rydberg) M. Peck, Man. Higher Pl. Oregon. 256. 1941.
Long-stemmed cushion wild buckwheat
Eriogonum ochroleucum Small ex Rydberg, Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 1: 123. 1900; E. ovalifolium var. macropodum (Gandoger) Reveal; E. ovalifolium subsp. ochroleucum (Small ex Rydberg) S. Stokes
Plants 2.5-4 dm wide. Leaf blades usually oblanceolate to narrowly elliptic, 0.5-3 cm, tomentose, margins not brownish. Scapes erect, (15-)20-30(-40) cm, thinly tomentose. Inflorescences capitate, 1-2.5 cm wide; branches absent. Involucres 5-12 per cluster, 4-5 mm. Flowers 4-5 mm; perianth white.
Flowering Jun-Aug. Sandy to gravelly flats and slopes, mixed grassland and sagebrush communities, juniper and montane conifer woodlands; 900-2600(-3100) m; Mont., Wyo.
Variety ochroleucrum is restricted to the western edge of the Great Plains as they interface with the eastern slope of the northern Rocky Mountains. The long scape atop a short-leafed mat is distinctive in the field. High-elevation populations occur in Park County, Wyoming; these can resemble var. depressum. In western Montana, great care must be taken to distinguish between early-flowering specimens of this variety and var. pansum. The involucres of the latter are distinctly longer and narrower, although the tight cluster of involucres often obscures the short branches of the umbellate inflorescence typical of var. pansum.