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

Thyme Buckwheat, Thymeleaf Buckwheat, Thyme-leaf Wild Buckwheat, Thyme-leaved Buckwheat

Eriogonum thymoides

Synonyms: Eriogonum sphaerocephalum ssp. minimum, Eriogonum sphaerocephalum var. minimum, Eriogonum thymoides ssp. congestum

Thyme Buckwheat, Thymeleaf Buckwheat, Thyme-leaf Wild Buckwheat, Thyme-leaved Buckwheat: Eriogonum thymoides (Synonyms: Eriogonum sphaerocephalum ssp. minimum, Eriogonum sphaerocephalum var. minimum, Eriogonum thymoides ssp. congestum)

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 Buckwheat, Thymeleaf Buckwheat, Thyme-leaf Wild Buckwheat, Thyme-leaved Buckwheat: Eriogonum thymoides (Synonyms: Eriogonum sphaerocephalum ssp. minimum, Eriogonum sphaerocephalum var. minimum, Eriogonum thymoides ssp. congestum) The photo at right of shows thyme-leaved buckwheat in bloom high on the east bank of the Columbia River to the north of Vantage, WA.............April 30, 2007. Notice the small whorl of linear leaves at mid stem.
Characteristics:

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.


Habitat:

Thyme-leaved buckwheat is found on dry rocky soil of open ridges to sagebrush plains.


Range:

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.


Basal leaves of Thyme Buckwheat, Thymeleaf Buckwheat, Thyme-leaf Wild Buckwheat, Thyme-leaved Buckwheat: Eriogonum thymoides (Synonyms: Eriogonum sphaerocephalum ssp. minimum, Eriogonum sphaerocephalum var. minimum, Eriogonum thymoides ssp. congestum)

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.

Thyme Buckwheat, Thymeleaf Buckwheat, Thyme-leaf Wild Buckwheat, Thyme-leaved Buckwheat: Eriogonum thymoides (Synonyms: Eriogonum sphaerocephalum ssp. minimum, Eriogonum sphaerocephalum var. minimum, Eriogonum thymoides ssp. congestum)

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.

Thyme Buckwheat, Thymeleaf Buckwheat, Thyme-leaf Wild Buckwheat, Thyme-leaved Buckwheat: Eriogonum thymoides (Synonyms: Eriogonum sphaerocephalum ssp. minimum, Eriogonum sphaerocephalum var. minimum, Eriogonum thymoides ssp. congestum)

Thymleaf buckwheat as seen along the highway between Roosevelt, WA and Bickleton, WA in south-central Washington..........April 18, 2010.

Thyme Buckwheat, Thymeleaf Buckwheat, Thyme-leaf Wild Buckwheat, Thyme-leaved Buckwheat: Eriogonum thymoides (Synonyms: Eriogonum sphaerocephalum ssp. minimum, Eriogonum sphaerocephalum var. minimum, Eriogonum thymoides ssp. congestum)

The photo above shows a yellow-flowered thyme-leaved buckwheat beginning to bloom at the Quilomene Wildlife Area along the Vantage Highway west of Vantage, WA..........April 27, 2007.

Inflorescence of Thyme Buckwheat, Thymeleaf Buckwheat, Thyme-leaf Wild Buckwheat, Thyme-leaved Buckwheat: Eriogonum thymoides (Synonyms: Eriogonum sphaerocephalum ssp. minimum, Eriogonum sphaerocephalum var. minimum, Eriogonum thymoides ssp. congestum)

The photo above shows a close-up of the hairy involucre of thyme-leaved buckwheat beginning to bloom at the Quilomene Wildlife Area along the Vantage Highway west of Vantage, WA.........April 27, 2007. The triangular-shaped lobes of the involucre are erect rather than reflexed downwards as in the similar Douglas' buckwheat.

Inflorescence of Thyme Buckwheat, Thymeleaf Buckwheat, Thyme-leaf Wild Buckwheat, Thyme-leaved Buckwheat: Eriogonum thymoides (Synonyms: Eriogonum sphaerocephalum ssp. minimum, Eriogonum sphaerocephalum var. minimum, Eriogonum thymoides ssp. congestum)

The photo above shows a close-up of the inflorescence of thyme-leaved buckwheat beginning to bloom at the Quilomene Wildlife Area along the Vantage Highway west of Vantage, WA..........April 27, 2007.

Thyme Buckwheat, Thymeleaf Buckwheat, Thyme-leaf Wild Buckwheat, Thyme-leaved Buckwheat: Eriogonum thymoides (Synonyms: Eriogonum sphaerocephalum ssp. minimum, Eriogonum sphaerocephalum var. minimum, Eriogonum thymoides ssp. congestum) - Inflorescence of Thyme Buckwheat, Thymeleaf Buckwheat, Thyme-leaf Wild Buckwheat, Thyme-leaved Buckwheat: Eriogonum thymoides (Synonyms: Eriogonum sphaerocephalum ssp. minimum, Eriogonum sphaerocephalum var. minimum, Eriogonum thymoides ssp. congestum)

Thyme-leaved buckwheat in bloom on scabland about one-half mile east of the Odessa Craters, Lincoln County, Washington.........May 8, 2012.

Paul Slichter