[Buckwheats: The Genus Eriogonum East of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington]

Tall Buckwheat

Eriogonum elatum var. elatum

Synonym: Eriogonum elatum var. limonifolium

Flowers of Tall Buckwheat, Tall Woolly Buckwheat, Rush Buckwheat: Eriogonum elatum var. elatum (Synonym: Eriogonum elatum var. limonifolium)

The photo above shows a close-up of the flowers of tall buckwheat as seen from the Columbia Hills to the northeast of The Dalles, OR........July 7, 2006.

Involucre of Tall Buckwheat, Tall Woolly Buckwheat, Rush Buckwheat: Eriogonum elatum var. elatum (Synonym: Eriogonum elatum var. limonifolium)The photo at right shows a close-up of the involucel of tall buckwheat as it can be found at the crest of the Columbia Hills in the Columbia River Gorge........July 7, 2006. Note the triangular shape of the the lobes of the involucel.
Characteristics:

Tall buckwheat is also known as rush-stemmed buckwheat. It is a large, sturdy wildflower, with large lanceolate or arrowhead-shaped basal leaves, one to several erect and hollow stems with no cauline leaves, and a two to three-branched open cyme. The leaves may be somewhat tomentose, but the plants typically appear to be mostly green. The leaves range in length from 7-15 cm long, with the petiole about equal in length to the blade.

The inflorescence is large, branched, and open. The flowers are typically creamy, pink in the bud, and aging to a red color. Typical tall buckwheats range from 30-120 cm tall. The involucres are either solitary or in small terminal clusters. The narrowly conical involucres are glabrous with prominent nerves, and they measure about 3 mm long. The terminal lobes of the involucre are shallowly rounded with ciliate margins. The perianth is 2-3 mm long with a hairy exterior surface.

This is one of the easiest of the Eriogonums to identify in the Pacific Northwest due to its large stature, large basal leaves, and lack of leaves on the stems.


Habitat:

Tall buckwheat is found from the sagebrush desert to open mountain slopes below 7000 feet.


Range:

Tall buckwheat may be found from north-central Washington (Okanogan County) south along the eastern Cascade slope to northeast California, found sparsely south to Mono County, California, and east to Idaho and western Nevada.


Tall Buckwheat, Tall Woolly Buckwheat, Rush Buckwheat: Eriogonum elatum var. elatum (Synonym: Eriogonum elatum var. limonifolium) - Tall Buckwheat, Tall Woolly Buckwheat, Rush Buckwheat: Eriogonum elatum var. elatum (Synonym: Eriogonum elatum var. limonifolium) - Tall Buckwheat, Tall Woolly Buckwheat, Rush Buckwheat: Eriogonum elatum var. elatum (Synonym: Eriogonum elatum var. limonifolium)

Tall buckwheat as seen on a rocky slope at the entrance to the Ochoco Campground, Ochoco National Forest.........July 14, 2017.

Tall Buckwheat, Tall Woolly Buckwheat, Rush Buckwheat: Eriogonum elatum var. elatum (Synonym: Eriogonum elatum var. limonifolium)

The photo above shows the form of tall buckwheat as it can be found amongst tall prairie bunchgrasses at the crest of the Columbia Hills in the Columbia River Gorge........July 7, 2006.

Basal leaves of Tall Buckwheat, Tall Woolly Buckwheat, Rush Buckwheat: Eriogonum elatum var. elatum (Synonym: Eriogonum elatum var. limonifolium)

The photo above shows the basal leaves of tall buckwheat as seen in Cowiche Canyon, just west of Yakima, WA..........March 28, 2007.

Paul Slichter