Polygonaceae Eriogonum alatum

Several photos of small yellow flowers on a green stem. Background is orange colored soil and rock.

Eriogonum alatum

Synonym: Pterogonum alatum

Family: Polygonaceae – Buckwheat Family

Perennial herbs from a taproot; 11.8” to 3.9' (3 to 12 dm) tall

Leaves: alternate and basal; simple; has hairs; 1.2” to 8” (3 to 20 cm) long, 0.12” to 0.6” (3 to 15 mm) wide

Flowers: 0 petals; 6 yellowish to greenish petaloid sepals in 2 series, 0.06” to 0.11” (1.5 to 2.8 mm) long; 9 stamens; 1 pistil; 3 styles; small flowers in clusters

Pollinators: other Eriogonum species are pollinated by bees

Fruits: achenes with 3 wings

Blooms in Arches National Park: April, May, June, July

Habitat in Arches National Park: often in sand in desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities

Location seen: park road mile 0 to 2.5, Delicate Arch trail, north of Tapestry Arch, outside Arches National Park on Rough and Rocky Mesa

Other: The genus name, “Eriogonum”, means “woolly knee” referring to the hairs located at the swollen joints of many species of this genus. The species name, “alatum”, means “winged” referring to the seed's wings.

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.

Last updated: March 11, 2022

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