Plant Image
Flower heads
- John Kava

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Eriogonum umbellatum - sulphur-flower buckwheat

Other Common Names: sulfur-flower wild buckwheat, sulfur buckwheat
Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Polygonaceae

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Plant - summer
John Kava
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Perennial
General Desc: A variable species with many different varieties & subspecies, but all plants make loose mats of leaves, often green above and gray- woolly beneath, with tiny, yellow or cream flowers in balls at ends of branches.
Identification notes: Bright yellow calyx; bracts subtending the inflorescence are large and leaflike; akenes not winged; stems many branched from the base; flower stems covered with hairs; woody stems; thin flower stems distinguishes this from other Eriogonum sp.
Height: 4 to 12 inches


Habitat Description: Clearings in ponderosa pine forests and pinyon juniper woodlands.
Plant Communities: Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest
Elevation: 5000 - 9000 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Yellow, yellowish-white     Shape: Regular in round clusters     Tubular: Y     Flowering Period: Apr - Sep
Description: The rounded clusters of flowers occur at the end of 6-9 inch stems. The cream (yellowish-white) to sulfur-yellow, tubular flowers fade to orange or red.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Gray-green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Round or oval     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Basal     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Leaves are oval to narrow and are whiteish and fuzzy underneath but gray-green and smooth on top. The scientific name, Eriogonum, means woolly knees in Greek and refers to the woolly joints on the stems of many species.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

No Fruit or seed notes

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
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Last Updated: Nov 21, 2021
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