Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Sonoran Desert Flora >>> Polygonaceae >>> Eriogonum abertianum

Abert's Wild Buckwheat

Eriogonum abertianum

Photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed in Rackensack Canyon, May 2008.

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ANNUAL: A medium-sized annual mostly less than ½ meters tall. One or several stems from base and freely branching above. Stems appear white due to abundance of appressed hairs. Apparent in late spring and after summer rains, depending on rainfall.

FLOWERS: Groups of white or pale yellow flowers are subtended by five (usu.) fused bracts forming an involucre. After opening the flowers may dry to brown or reddish. These groups of flowers are further arranged into cymes. Blooming mostly May through Oct. if moisture present.

LEAVES: Leaves are elyptic and are distributed along stem and at base. Margins are smooth and usu. there is copious hairs sometimes with a reddish cast. The flowering peduncle has leafy bracts typically 3 to 6 at each branching point.

RANGE: In the Sonoran Desert in Arizona this plant is found at the upper elevations and towards east in transition to grassland or Chihuahuan Desert. Ranges east to Texas. Growth form is highly variable from region to region and even season to season.

FRUIT: Dry single-seeded smooth capsule with one seed - an achene.

UNARMED. No spines or thorns.

Polygonaceae -- Buckwheat Family

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Photo © by Michael Plagens

Close-up of leaves. Photographed in Rackensack Canyon, May 2008.

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009