Eriogonum acaule
Author: Nutt.

single-stemmed wild buckwheat

Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family)

Close up of Eriogonum acaule by James Reveal
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Close up of Eriogonum acaule flowers by James Reveal
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Close up of Eriogonum acaule flowers and leaves by James Reveal
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Taxonomic Comments

=Eriogonum caespitosum var. acuale

Ranks and Status

Global rank: G3
State rank: S1
Federal protection status: BLM Sensitive
State protection status: None

[+] Description and Phenology

Eriogonum acaule by Gail Jennings
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General description: Low, mat-forming perennial.  Flowers light yellow; stamens slightly exserted; flowers barely exceeding the leaves with short flowering stems; leaves linear to oblanceolate, tomentose; plants 1.5-3 cm tall and 1-2 cm across.

Look Alikes: Eriogonum caespitosum is not known to occur in Colorado.

Phenology: Flowers May to July (Flora of North America 1993+, Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012).

[+] Herbarium Photos

Images of Eriogonum acaule housed at the Colorado State University Herbarium.

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[+] Habitat

Habitat of Eriognonum acaule by James Reveal
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Barren hillsides in fine particle soils (Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012, Weber and Wittmann 2012). Sandy, barren slopes, often with sagebrush or saltbush (Ackerfield 2012). Associated taxa include Cryptantha, Haplopappus, Agropyron, Artemisia and Arenaria (Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012).

Elevation Range: 5,686 - 6,857 feet (1,733 - 2,090 meters)

[+] Distribution

Distribution of Eriogonum acaule in Colorado according to mapped land ownership/management boundaries (CNHP 2012, COMaP v9 ).
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Distribution of Eriognonum acaule in Colorado
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Colorado endemic: No
Global range: This species is found in nine counties in Wyoming and one county in Colorado (USDA NRCS 2012; Weber and Wittmann 2012).
State range: In Colorado, known only from Moffat County (Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012).

[+] Threats and Management Issues

In Colorado this species is only known from lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, and specific threats are not known. The low, matted habit of this rather elegant species makes it attractive to rock garden enthusiasts (Flora of North America 1993+).

[+] References

    • Ackerfield, J. 2012. The Flora of Colorado. Colorado State University Herbarium. 433 pp.
    • Dorn, R.D. 1992. Vascular plants of Wyoming, 2nd edition. Mountain West Publishing, Cheyenne, Wyoming.
    • Flora of North America Editorial Committee, ed. (FNA). 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Oxford Univ. Press, New York, Oxford.
    • Harrington, H.D. 1954. Manual of the plants of Colorado. Sage Press, Chicago. 666 pp.
    • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
    • Lavender, A.E., M.M. Fink, S.E. Linn, D.M. Theobald. 2011. Colorado Ownership, Management, and Protection v9 Database. Colorado Natural Heritage Program and Geospatial Centroid, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. (30 September).
    • Reveal, J.L. 2013. A Digital Array of Botanical Images. Website presented by Cornell University, University of Maryland, and the New York Botanical Garden. Available on-line at
    • USDA, NRCS. 2013. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
    • Weber, W. A. and R. C. Wittmann. 2012. Colorado Flora, Western Slope, A Field Guide to the Vascular Plants, Fourth Edition. Boulder, Colorado. 532 pp.

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