The photo above shows snow buckwheat as seen on ice age flood sandbars above the Little Spokane River to the north of Spokane, WA..........................August 27, 2007.
Snow buckwheat is a variable perennial with prostrate stems, and thus mat forming, or with erect stems up to 80 cm tall. The basal leaves are tufted, 1.5-6 cm long with the blades elliptic to oblong-ovate or lanceolate in shape, with the petioles at least as long as the blades. Both leaf surfaces are tomentose or white-grayish haired.
The inflorescence is cymose, twice- to thrice-branched, with 2 or 3 leafy bracts at many of the joints or nodes. The flowers are cream or pink in color and about 3-4 mm long. They occur in small clusters at any point where the stems branch, or where there are pairs of bracts on the stems.
Snow buckwheat is found on sandy soils of the sagebrush desert or in open ponderosa pine forests.
Snow Buckwheat is found east of the Cascade Mts. from southern British Columbia south to central Oregon, and east to west-central Idaho.
In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found east of The Dalles, OR at an elevation of about 200'.
A close-up sideview of the flowers of snow buckwheat as seen in sandy and gravelly soils along Interstate 84 about one-half mile west of Celilo, OR................July 27, 2011.
Photo above of the basal leaves of Eriogonum niveum north of Spokane, along the Little Spokane River, mid August, 1997.