Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Eriogonum abertianum, Abert's Buckwheat

Eriogonum abertianum, Abert's BuckwheatEriogonum abertianum, Abert's BuckwheatEriogonum abertianum, Abert's BuckwheatEriogonum abertianum, Abert's BuckwheatEriogonum abertianum, Abert's BuckwheatEriogonum abertianum, Abert's Buckwheat

Scientific Name: Eriogonum abertianum
Common Name: Abert's Buckwheat
Also Called: Abert Buckwheat, Skeleton Weed
Family: Polygonaceae, Buckwheat Family
Synonyms: (Eriogonum abertianum var. abertianum, Eriogonum abertianum var. cyclosepalum, Eriogonum abertianum var. gillespiei, Eriogonum abertianum var. neomexicanum, Eriogonum abertianum var. villosum, Eriogonum cyclosepalum)
Status: Native
Duration: Annual
Size: Up to 24 inches or more.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; erect or spreading, stems with long soft hairs, green, grayish or reddish at base.
Leaves: Green; basal leaves with petioles, basal leaf shape variable oblong to obovate; upper stem leaves (cauline) also variable, linear to lanceolate.
Flower Color: White with pale yellow, buds pink; inflorescence a cyme, peduncles of varying lengths present, 9 small but showy yellow stamens (see photo above); fruit an achene.
Flowering Season: March to September, or year-round with sufficient rainfall.
Elevation: 1,500 to 7,000 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Common, sandy and gravelly areas, washes and slopes, mixed grassland, foothills and mountains.

Recorded Range: Abert's Buckwheat is found in the southwestern parts of the United States in AZ, NM and TX. It is also native to north and central Mexico.

In Arizona it is found in the north central, central and southeast parts of the state.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Eriogonum abertianum.

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.

Genus Information: Eriogonum is found throughout North America with approximately 230 species and 446 accepted taxa overall. World-wide, The Plant List identifies 255 species in Eriogonum.

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.

The genus Eriogonum is well represented in the southwest and in Arizona both for species numbers and individual populations.

Comments: Eriogonum abertianum is exceedingly variable in appearance, habitat community types and soil preferences. For example Abert's Buckwheat may be found in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts in mixed grassland, saltbush, greasewood, creosote bush, blackbrush, and manzanita communities, as well as oak and conifer woodlands; soil preferences range from sandy and gravelly areas, clay flats, washes and slopes.

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 Skeleton Weed, Eriogonum deflexum, Flat-top Buckwheat, Eriogonum fasciculatum, Desert Trumpet, Eriogonum inflatum, Little Deserttrumpet, Eriogonum trichopes, Sulphur-flower Buckwheat, Eriogonum umbellatum and Wright Buckwheat, Eriogonum wrightii.

The flowers are regularly visited by large numbers of local bees.

Date Profile Completed: 06/02/2016, updated 01/01/2017, updated format 09/30/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 06/02/2016)
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
Craig C. Freeman, James L. Reveal; FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 5 | Polygonaceae | Eriogonum | 189. Eriogonum abertianum Torrey in W. H. Emory, Not. Milit. Reconn. 150. 1848. Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford.
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 06/02/2016).
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet [accessed: 06/02/2016]. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information 06/02/2016).
Wikipedia contributors, 'Apodemia mormo', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 11 November 2014, 02:00 UTC, [accessed 4 June 2016]
Wikipedia contributors, 'Aricia lupini', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 1 April 2016, 01:54 UTC, [accessed 4 June 2016]
Wikipedia contributors, 'Euphilotes ancilla', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 11 February 2016, 15:21 UTC, [accessed 4 June 2016]