The photo above shows a close-up of the flowers of thyme-leaved buckwheat in bloom high on the east bank of the Columbia River to the north of Vantage, WA.............April 30, 2007.
Thyme-leaved buckwheat is a perennial shrublet, forming mats on the ground. It may range in height from 5-25 cm tall. The stems are erect, with a whorl of leaves at mid stem.
The numerous basal leaves are linear to linear-spatulate, 3-15 mm long. They are whitish hairy below and less so above (See photo at right.). The leaf margins are revolute or rolled under.
The inflorescence is a single spherical cluster with numerous flowers at the top of the stem. The involucres are 3-5 mm long, conical in shape, and tipped with 6-8 triangular teeth up to 1 mm long. The flower color ranges from creamy to pinkish, to occasionally yellow. The flower buds may be reddish tinged. The outer surface of the individual flowers are copiously woolly-hairy upon inspection with a hand lens. The similar Douglas' buckwheat does not have the hairy perianth, and has an involucre that is more bowl-shaped with long, oblong lobes that are spreading to reflexed.
Thyme-leaved buckwheat is found on dry rocky soil of open ridges to sagebrush plains.
Thyme-leaved buckwheat may be found from Chelan County southward along the eastern edge of the Cascade Mts into northern Oregon, and eastward into Baker county, OR.
The photo above shows a close-up of the leaves of thyme-leaved buckwheat as seen at Wilson Creek, a BLM site along US Highway 2 in central Washington............June 25, 2006.
The photo above shows a nice mat of thyme-leaved buckwheat in bloom high on the east bank of the Columbia River to the north of Vantage, WA..........April 30, 2007.