Eriogonum ephedroides

Common Names:
Ephedra Wild Buckwheat
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Amber Swanson
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
CPC National Office
Red Butte Garden and Arboretum

The conservation of Eriogonum ephedroides is fully sponsored.
Amber Swanson contributed to this Plant Profile.


This pretty little plant has only been found in four counties in Utah and Colorado, where it is vulnerable and imperiled. Ephedra buckwheat is the common name for Eriogonum ephedroides because its green loosely branching flower stalks resemble the Ephedra or Mormon tea plant. This plant is different than many Eriogonums in that it does not have flowers borne in a tight clustered heads or in umbrella shaped clusters. Its flowers are cream to creamy yellow and are found in parts of threes. E. ephedroides is a subshrub meaning all but its woody base die back every winter. It grows to 35 cm tall and has small simple and narrow leaves that have an entire margin and may curl under along their edges. All of its leaves are basal, meaning they are not found on stems or flower stalks, but only at the base of the plant. These plants can endure harsh conditions in full sun on rocky shale soil. It blooms from mid-June into October. Other names include Eriogonum brevicaule var. ephedroides (Reveal) Welsh

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research