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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Eriogonum umbellatum Torr.
Sulphur-flower buckwheat, Sulphur-flower wild buckwheat, Sulphur buckwheat, Sulphur flower
USDA Symbol: erum
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
This is an exceedingly variable species with many different varieties & subspecies. Plant height varies from 3 in. to 3 ft., but all plants make loose mats of leaves, often green above and gray-woolly beneath. Leaves at base, and on long, erect stalks bloom tiny, yellow or cream flowers in balls at ends of branches of an umbel-like cluster. Flower clusters occur on 6-9 in. stems. The cream to sulfur-yellow, tubular flowers fade to orange or red.
Sulphur Buckwheat is highly variable, and this adds to the difficulties of identification in a complex group of similar western species.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Yellow
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
AZ , CA , CO , ID , MT , NM , NV , OR , UT , WA , WY Canada: AB
, SK Native Distribution:
Rocky Mts. (typical form) & other cold, western mt. sites Native Habitat:
Dry, mt. slopes & ridges USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Gravelly soils.
Conditions Comments: Because the species is so variable, it is especially important to choose material from a habitat that matches your site.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Propagate only by seed as it is nearly impossible to transplant or divide the long taproots of mature plants. Plant seed thickly as germination is low. Seed Collection:
The three-sided achene
can be hand-stripped from the plant. Seed Treatment:
No treatment is necessary, but a 3-month stratification may improve germination. Commercially Avail:
From the National Suppliers Directory
According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
Oregon Native Plant Nursery
- Woodburn, OR
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
- Santa Barbara, CANative Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Recommended Species Lists
Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.
View Recommended Species page
Record Modified: 2009-02-21
Research By: TWC Staff