[Buckwheats: The Genus Eriogonum in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Scabland Wild Buckwheat

Eriogonum sphaerocephalum var. sublineare

Synonyms: Eriogonum douglasii var. sublineare, Eriogonum douglasii var. tenue

Scabland Wild Buckwheat: Eriogonum sphaerocephalum var. sublineare (Synonyms: Eriogonum douglasii var. sublineare, Eriogonum douglasii var. tenue)

Scabland wild buckwheat from atop The Dalles Mt., Columbia River Gorge........May 14, 2006.

Eriogonum douglasii var. tenue Photo at right of scabland wild buckwheat at the Dalles Mt., Columbia River Gorge.....5/6/1990.
Characteristics:

Scabland wild buckwheat is a low, matted shrublet, from 5-10 cm tall, and sometimes several feet in diameter.

The leaves are mostly linear to linear-spatulate in shape, often gray or whitish haired on both surfaces. They range from 5-20 cm long and 1.5-3 mm wide.

A whorl of linear leaves may be found at about mid stem on the flower stems. No stem leaves or bracts are found directly below the flower heads.

The inflorescence is a single rounded, thumb-sized head or clump, about 13 mm across.. They are a whitish-yellow color, sometimes bright lemon-yellow, or may be tinged with pink or red. The pink or red may especially be seen in the unopened flower buds (see photo below). The individual flowers are sparsely to moderately haired on the outer surface.


Habitat:

Scabland wild buckwheat is found on dry, rock, open flats and slopes often associated with sagebrush, sometimes with juniper and ponderosa pine.


Range:

Scabland wild buckwheat may be found from central Washington south to the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada, and eastward to western Idaho and Nevada.

In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found between the elevations of 100'-3000' between Burdoin Mt. and Haystack Butte.


Scabland Wild Buckwheat: Eriogonum sphaerocephalum var. sublineare (Synonyms: Eriogonum douglasii var. sublineare, Eriogonum douglasii var. tenue) - Scabland Wild Buckwheat: Eriogonum sphaerocephalum var. sublineare (Synonyms: Eriogonum douglasii var. sublineare, Eriogonum douglasii var. tenue)

Scabland wild buckwheat as seen in bloom on cliff tops at the west edge of Catherine Creek, Columbia River Gorge.........May 2, 2014.

Scabland Wild Buckwheat: Eriogonum sphaerocephalum var. sublineare (Synonyms: Eriogonum douglasii var. sublineare, Eriogonum douglasii var. tenue) - Scabland Wild Buckwheat: Eriogonum sphaerocephalum var. sublineare (Synonyms: Eriogonum douglasii var. sublineare, Eriogonum douglasii var. tenue)

Scabland wild buckwheat as seen at left beginning to bloom near the end of the South Klickitat Breaks Road, Klickitat Wildlife Area..........May 17, 2014. The photo at right shows a close-up of the inflorescence of scabland wild buckwheat with its bright red flower buds which will soon open to creamy flowers. Photographed on the east rim of Canyon Creek, Klickitat Wildlife Area........May 17, 2017.

Scabland Wild Buckwheat: Eriogonum sphaerocephalum var. sublineare (Synonyms: Eriogonum douglasii var. sublineare, Eriogonum douglasii var. tenue)

Scabland wild buckwheat blooming on a bald in Brooks Memorial State Park near Satus Pass, Washington.........May 24, 2015.

Inflorescence of Eriogonum douglasii var. tenue

Close up of the flowers of scabland wild Buckwheat.

Eriogonum douglasii var. tenue

Scabland wild buckwheat from atop The Dalles Mt, Columbia River Gorge........May 6, 1990.

Eriogonum douglasii var. tenue

The flower heads of scabland wild buckwheat often have an attractive reddish tinge to them before they open.

Paul Slichter