Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Eriogonum wrightii, Wright Buckwheat

Eriogonum wrightii, Wright BuckwheatEriogonum wrightii, Wright BuckwheatEriogonum wrightii, Wright BuckwheatEriogonum wrightii, Wright BuckwheatEriogonum 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)
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
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.

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 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.

Date Profile Completed: 06/04/2016, updated 01/01/2017, updated format 10/01/2017
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 | 72. Eriogonum wrightii Torrey ex Bentham in A. P. de Candolle and A. L. P. P. de Candolle, Prodr. 14: 15. 1856. 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: 06/04/2016]. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: (accessed 06/04/2016),5994,6207
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information 06/04/2016).
Wikipedia contributors, 'Charles Wright (botanist)', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 3 March 2016, 15:44 UTC, [accessed 4 June 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]