Eriogonum ovalifolium 'Steens Mountain Form'

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Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04
Eriogonum ovalifolium 'Steens Mountain Form'

This past summer I had the privilege of seeing this form of Eriogonum ovalifolium blooming on the 9,000'< (2750 m) crest of the Steens Mountain in South Eastern Oregon. I was participating in an Eriogonum Society field trip lead by Dr James Reveal and Professor Don Mansfield. There were discussions as to whither this population was variety depressum or variety nivale. Dr Reveal felt it would need further study before it could definitively be assigned to a specific variety.
I am therefore calling it the 'Steens Mountain Form'.
The thousands of plants in this thriving population of Eriogonum ovalifolium form outstanding gray/green cushions 6-10" (15.25-25.4 cm)across and no higher than 1" ( 2.5 cm) tall. The flowers splay out across the foliage attached by short stems. The capitate flower inflorescence are various shades of pink with many intensely pink individuals along side pastel examples. I did happen to find one plant who's flowers were pale yellow with a flush of pink, a stand out among the crowd.

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Oh my, the rich rose form is fantastic!  What a privilege to be buckwheat hunting with such esteemed experts, then find some that don't easily fit the keys; gives validation for those times when one finds plants that refuse to fit neatly into defined subcategories.  The yellow and pink form is nice too.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Beautiful, John!

I was tempted to join the Eriogonum Society's summer meeting and field trips last summer but had no time :(
I am very sorry I couldn't!

BTW John, I loved your article in the Rock Garden Quarterly! I'm looking forward to the next one ;)

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

While I always find variations interesting, the first pic with the lavender flowers is the only one of these I'd like in my garden. 

Besides the scapes being shorter, to my eyes I think the other colors are too vivid and really clash. :-\  (Now who would have thought I would be saying that... )

Still, a little exposé wouldn't be complete without all of them.  Thanks, John!

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

Trond
I wish you could have joined us. I know I had a grand time.

Steens mountain is located in the northern Great Basin.This massive high desert mountain is a unique basalt block fault mountain, about 50 miles long and 18 miles across, it reaches over 9,700 feet in elevation. The shear eastern face rising a mile above a bleak dry pan known as the Alvord Desert. During the Last Ice age the Steens sported glacers as a result of their action you will find three deep glacial gorges with dramatic views.
Isolation from other mountain ranges has encouraged several species of plants to differentiate into uniquely endemic subspecies and forms. I have a feeling that this form of E. ovalifolium is an example of this process.

From the High Desert Steppe
of the Great Basin and the Eastern
Escarpment of the Sierra Nevada Range
Located in Reno/Sparks,NV  zone 6-7
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierrarainshadow/
John P Weiser

Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

This variety of Eriogonum ovalifolium has a new designation. It is now known as  ​Eriogonum ovalifolium var. rubidum. Here is a photo to remind everyone of it's habit.

 

 

Eriogonum ovalifolium var rubidum

From the High Desert Steppe
of the Great Basin and the Eastern
Escarpment of the Sierra Nevada Range
Located in Reno/Sparks,NV  zone 6-7
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierrarainshadow/
John P Weiser

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Spectacular!!

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

I have still not had any success with Eriogonums but am still hoping to get at least some flowering plants one day!

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

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