Eriogonum wrightii, Wright Buckwheat
Scientific Name: Eriogonum wrightii
Common Name: Wright Buckwheat
Also Called: Bastardsage, Shrubby Buckwheat, Wright's Buckwheat
Family: Polygonaceae, Buckwheat Family
Synonyms: (Eriogonum helianthemifolium, Eriogonum trachygonum, Eriogonum wrightii subsp. wrightii)
Size: 2 or 3 feet tall and about as wide.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; shrub, subshrub; stems spreading to erect.
Leaves: Green; leaves on stems (cauline) or clustered on lower stems, leaf shape variable, linear to elliptical, upper and lower leaves tomentose.
Flower Color: White, pink or rose; sepals and petals collectively referred to as a perianth, glabrous to densely woolly; fruit smooth (glabrous).
Flowering Season: June to October.
Elevation: 3,000 to 7,000 feet; 150 to 10,000 feet in California.
Habitat Preferences: Dry gravel or rocks.
Recorded Range: Eriogonum wrightii is found in the southwestern Untied States in AZ, CA, NM, NV, TX and UT. It is also native to Baja California and northwest Mexico. In Arizona it is found throughout the state with few or no records in Yuma, County.
North America & US County Distribution Map for Eriogonum wrightii.
U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.
Eriogonum is found throughout Arizona and entire southwest with 58 species in Arizona, 115 species in California, 36 species in New Mexico, 79 species in Nevada and 67 species in California. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.
There are 7 varieties in Eriogonum wrightii;
Eriogonum wrightii var. membranaceum, Bastardsage (CA),
Eriogonum wrightii var. nodosum, Bastardsage (AZ, CA),
Eriogonum wrightii var. olanchense, Olancha Peak Buckwheat (CA),
Eriogonum wrightii var. pringlei, Pringle's Bastardsage (AZ),
Eriogonum wrightii var. subscaposum, Bastardsage (CA, NV),
Eriogonum wrightii var. trachygonum, Bastardsage (CA),
Eriogonum wrightii var. wrightii, Bastardsage (AZ, CA, NM, NV, TX, UT.
The genus Eriogonum is well represented in the southwest and in Arizona both for species numbers and individual populations.
Comments: Wright Buckwheat, like many of the species in Eriogonum, are quite variable in appearance and varieties may be difficult to correctly identify without additional geographic and habitat information.
Eriogonum wrightii is named in honor of Charles Wright, (1811-1885), botanist, land surveyor and teacher.
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).
In Southwest Desert Flora also see Abert's Buckwheat, Eriogonum abertianum, Skeleton Weed, Eriogonum deflexum, Flat-top Buckwheat, Eriogonum fasciculatum, Desert Trumpet, Eriogonum inflatum, Little Deserttrumpet, Eriogonum trichopes and Sulphur-flower Buckwheat, Eriogonum umbellatum.
Wright Buckwheat has been or is used for food or medicinal purposes by North American indigenous peoples.
Kawaiisu Food, Beverage, Seeds pounded into a meal, mixed with water and used as a beverage.
Kawaiisu Food, Staple, Seeds pounded into a meal and eaten dry.
Navajo, Kayenta Drug Emetic, , Plant used as an emetic.
See ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.