Family: Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family)
Subshrubs; 0.8” to 3.2” (2 to 8 cm) tall
Leaves: alternate and basal; simple; 0.2” to 0.6” (5 to 15 mm) long, 0.04” to 0.12” (1 to 3 mm) wide; woolly with hairs
Flowers: 0 petals; 3-6 sepals, usually 5 or 3+3, petaloid; 2-9 stamens in 2 series; 1 pistil; small flowers in clusters; flowers white to pink or rose; flowers 0.08” to 0.16” (2 to 4 mm) long
Pollinators: other Eriogonum species are pollinated by bees
Blooms in Arches National Park: late April, May, June
Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub, pinyon-juniper and grassland communities; often in sand
Location seen: Windows primitive trail, Salt Valley
Other: The genus name, “Eriogonum”, means “woolly knee” and refers to the hairs located at the swollen joints of many species of this genus. The species name, “bicolor ”, means “of two colors”.
This plant is endemic to Carbon, Emery, Garfield, Grand (the type specimen was collected in Thompson Springs), San Juan, Sevier, and Wayne Counties in Utah.
This family's scientific name, “Polygonaceae”, is derived from the Greek words “poly” which means "many" and "goni" which means "joint", a reference to many species that have swollen nodes or joints.
Did You Know?
Edward Abbey worked as a seasonal park ranger at Arches in the late 1950s. His 1968 memoir of this experience, "Desert Solitaire," has become a classic of desert literature.