Close up of Panguitch Buckwheat flowers.
Cluster of Panguitch Buckwheat flowers.
Panguitch Buckwheat - Eriogonum panguicenseUnlike its close relative, Sulphur Buckwheat, which is widespread throughout the west, Panguitch Buckwheat is endemic to southwestern Utah and found nowhere else in the world.
Panguitch Buckwheat is unusual because it only grows on the limestone soils of the Claron Formation, the layer that forms the Breaks at Cedar Breaks and Bryce Canyon. Endemic species like Panguitch Buckwheat have evolved to avoid competition from other species by adapting to special soil conditions. The high pH of these Claron soils limits the amount of nutrients like phosphorus and iron that normal plants can absorb.
Studies have shown that some limestone-adapted species emit acids from their roots, lowering the pH, and thus making those elements available for uptake. This may be how Panguitch Buckwheat survives where other species can’t.
Last updated: November 28, 2017