Polygonaceae Eriogonum microthecum

Small clusters of white flowers with lines of pink throughout the petals on a twiggy plant. Background is a orange sandy soil.

Eriogonum microthecum

Family: Polygonaceae – Buckwheat Family

Perennial shrubs 0.8” to 3.2” (2 to 8 cm) tall; stems 2” to 8” (5 to 20 cm) long

Leaves: alternate; simple; linear; woolly; 0.2” to 0.6” (5 to 15 mm) long, 0.04” to 0.12” (1 to 3 mm) wide

Flowers: 0 petals; 6 petaloid sepals in 2 series; 9 stamens; 1 pistil; small flowers in clusters; flowers white or suffused with pink; flowers 0.09” to 0.16” (2.2 to 4 mm) long

Pollinators: other Eriogonum species are pollinated by bees

Fruits: achene

Blooms in Arches National Park: April, May, June, July, August, September, October

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

Location seen: park road mile 16, 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, “microthecum”, means “having a structure resembling a small cap, case or box”.

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 20, 2022

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