Desert Buckwheat


Scientific Name: Eriogonum fasciculatum
Common Name: Desert Buckwheat
Family: Polygonaceae, Buckwheat Family
Duration: Perennial

Size:Up to 3 feet and almost 4 or 5 feet wide.
Growth Form: Shrub, subshrub; plants shrubby, stems decumbent.
Leaves: Grayish-green; decumbent; leaves pilose or villous above (adaxial); leaves often fascicled; leaves in clusters at nodes, leaf shape variable from linear to oblanceolate, rolled under (revolute), bottom (abaxial) of leaves white-tomentose.
Flower Color: White, pink; flowers slightly fragrant, flowers in flat-toped clusters (terminally); inflorescence cymemose; canescent, perianth with stalk-like base; fruit glabrous.

Flowering Season: March to June.

Comments: Flat-top Buckwheat is one of the more dominant low- and high-desert species primarily in the Sonoran Desert. Various species of Eriogonum play host to the larvae (caterpillar) of several butterflies including the Mormon Metalmark butterfly (Apodemia mormo), the Rocky Mountain dotted-blue (Euphilotes ancilla) and the Lupine Blue (Aricia lupini). The aggressively weedy and (for Arizona) exotic variety foliosum is rapidly invading the native habitat of var. polifolium.