Eriogonum cinereum Benth.

Ashy-leaf Buckwheat
Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family)


Ashyleaf or coast buckwheat is a much-branched perennial shrub 4' to 5' tall with white-wooly herbage.  The leaves are alternate, sometimes fascicled, crisped-undulate and ovate in outline, white tomentose beneath and greenish to ash-colored above.  The blades are mostly about one inch to somewhat more than an inch in length. The flowering stems are elongate with scattered, head-like inflorescences either at the nodes or at the terminal tips. There are 3-10 involucres per head, hairy, with 5 teeth, and the bracts are almost leaflike.  The calyces are white to pinkish, 6-toothed, and densely white-villous, the segments narrow obovate. There are no petals. The fruit is a brown deltoid-ovoid achene, sharply angled and somewhat roughened.  Ashyleaf buckwheat is a fairly common resident on dunes and bluffs in coastal strand and on slopes and ridges further inland in coastal sage scrub, from Santa Barbara County south to San Pedro and on some of the Channel Islands, usually flowering from June to December.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Eriogonum 2) cinereum.
Pronunciation: er-ee-OG-an-um sin-AIR-ee-um.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.