Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Eriogonum fasciculatum, Flat-top Buckwheat

Eriogonum fasciculatum, Flat-top BuckwheatEriogonum fasciculatum, Flat-top BuckwheatEriogonum fasciculatum, Flat-top BuckwheatEriogonum fasciculatum, Flat-top BuckwheatEriogonum fasciculatum, Flat-top Buckwheat

Scientific Name: Eriogonum fasciculatum
Common Name: Flat-top Buckwheat
Also Called: California Buckwheat, Eastern Mojave Buckwheat, Flattop Buckwheat, Mojave Buckwheat, Yellow Buckwheat (Spanish: Maderista, Valeriana, Gordo Lobo)
Family: Polygonaceae, Buckwheat Family
Synonyms: (Eriogonum fasciculatum subsp. fasciculatum )
Status: Native
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.
Elevation: 1,00 to 4,500 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Dry rocky slopes, canyons in scrub communities and washes.

Recorded Range: Eriogonum fasciculatum is found in the southwestern United States in CA, AZ, NV, UT. It also has large populations in Baja California and northwest Mexico. In Arizona it occurs throughout the western ½ of the state and in Graham county.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Eriogonum fasciculatum.

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.

There are 4 varieties in Eriogonum fasciculatum;
Eriogonum fasciculatum var. fasciculatum, Eastern Mojave Buckwheat (CA),
Eriogonum fasciculatum var. flavoviride, Eastern Mojave Buckwheat (CA),
Eriogonum fasciculatum var. foliolosum, Eastern Mojave Buckwheat (AZ, CA),
Eriogonum fasciculatum var. polifolium, Eastern Mojave Buckwheat (AZ, CA, NV, UT).

Comments: Flat-top Buckwheat is one of the more dominant low- and high-desert species primarily in the Sonoran Desert. However, "foliolosum" and "polifolium" are prevalent in both the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts (Both of these varieties are found in Arizona). All forms are quite variable in appearance.

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, Desert Trumpet, Eriogonum inflatum, Little Deserttrumpet, Eriogonum trichopes, Sulphur-flower Buckwheat, Eriogonum umbellatum and Wright Buckwheat, Eriogonum wrightii.

Flat-top Buckwheat is or has been used by North American indigenous peoples. Here are a few of the many uses:
Coahuilla Drug, Analgesic, Decoction of leaves taken for headache and stomach pain;
Costanoan Drug, Urinary Aid, Decoction of plant used for urinary problems;
Diegueno Drug, Antidiarrheal, Decoction of flowers given to babies for diarrhea;
Zuni Drug, Dermatological Aid; Poultice of powdered root applied to cuts and arrow or bullet wounds.
See ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.

Date Profile Completed: 06/03/2016, 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 06/03/2016)
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 80. Eriogonum fasciculatum Bentham, Trans. Linn. Soc. London. 17: 411. 1836. 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: 06/03/2016]. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: (accessed 06/03/2016),5994,6045
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information 06/03/2016).
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]