CPC Plant Profile: Gypsum Buckwheat
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Plant Profile

Gypsum Buckwheat (Eriogonum gypsophilum)

  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Threatened, Proposed for Delisting
  • Family: Polygonaceae
  • State: NM
  • Nature Serve ID: 135004
  • Date Inducted in National Collection:

Eriogonum gypsophilum, known commonly as gypsum wild buckwheat, has only three known populations, all exclusively located in Eddy County, New Mexico. Populations are limited to growing on a specific soil composition, gypsum, a mineral commonly used in drywall and plaster. This area of New Mexico is also suitable for mineral development of gypsum, as well as oil and gas. These profitable land uses have been deemed to be serious potential threats to gypsum wild buckwheat populations, and consequentially large portions of these habitats are protected by the Bureau of Land Management.

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Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Known from three general localities in Eddy County, New Mexico. The total area occupied is about 89 ha. The populations appear to be stable. However, the habitat is subject to potential energy development and gypsum mining. Other threats include ORV traffic and grazing.

Matthew King
  • 01/01/2010

Habitat destruction through mineral extraction of gypsum, oil, and gas. Surface disturbances such as off-road vehicle use, camping, and plant collection.

Matthew King
  • 01/01/2010

Each population of E. gypsophilum contains between 11,000 and 18,000 plants (USFWS).

Matthew King
  • 01/01/2010

Research has been carried out by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in New Mexico. A recovery plan for E. gypsophilum was applied in 1984, with a recent 5-year review published in 2007 (referenced throughout this profile as ""USFWS""). Further research outside governmental agencies is unknown.

Matthew King
  • 01/01/2010

USFWS reports that the federal regulatory mechanisms have been effective in removing or managing many of the threats to E. gypsophilum. These include the Special Management Area Restrictions which limit surface occupancy for all three areas. As a result of this, they recommend the delisting of the threatened status. The report notes some obscurity as to whether these restrictions will continue after the species is delisted.

Matthew King
  • 01/01/2010

Ensure continued federal protection under Special Management Area Restrictions, even after the species is delisted from the threatened and endangered list.

Matthew King
  • 01/01/2010

Past ex situ work has been carried out for this species, and as such further work is not recommended.


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Taxon Eriogonum gypsophilum
Authority Wooton & Standl.
Family Polygonaceae
CPC Number 1729
ITIS 21146
Common Names Gypsum Wild-buckwheat | Seven River Hills buckwheat
Associated Scientific Names Eriogonum gypsophilum
Distribution Three populations of Eriogonum gypsophilum are known to exist, all found in Eddy County, New Mexico. These populations are found at Seven River Hills, Black River, and Ben Slaughter Draw.
State Rank
State State Rank
New Mexico S1

Found only in southeastern New Mexico on gypsum soils and outcrops in the Chihuahuan Desert.

Ecological Relationships

Climate for E. gypsophilum is semi-arid. Individuals mainly reproduce via asexual cloning from rhizomes. However, reproduction through seed may be possible in years where the climate favors seed germination (USFWS).

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting

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