Eriogonum ovalifolium var. eximium

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Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04
Eriogonum ovalifolium var. eximium

Eriogonum ovalifolium var. eximium is one of matforming the high elevation varieties. This variety is commonly known as the Slide Mountain Buckwheat or brown margin buck wheat. It is restricked to the Carson Range along the border of Nevada and California. I have found it growing at elevations of around 8500'-9600' on lose disintegrated granite screes. Mature mats are commonly eight-ten inches across and 1/2-1 inch tall. The flowers are always creamy white-white and set right on top of the foliage.

This is one I have been growing in the garden for the last two years. It is a slow grower and keeps it's tight cushion characteristic in cultivation. However at my lower 4000' elevation the flowers are held about an inch above the foliage. In their native haunts they are pummeled by wind rushing up the slopes almost daily, on occasion in excess of 100mph.,5994,6138,6139

The first shot is of a very old plant in it's native habitat. It is about twelve inches across.
The second was taken of a young plant in my garden
The last shots are of mature plants in habitat blooming in early August of this year

Anne Spiegel
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-26

Wonderful plant.  I went to all the references and in one close-up photo the flowers were candy striped pretty fancy.
I'll have to start checking for seed.  This looks like a valuable rock garden plant.  Thanks so much for the pictures and the information.

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

Another WOW John, I do love them buckwheats... a sensational plant.

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

Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

Thank you it is a nice one. My four plants seem to be doing well under cultivation. They have increased their size by a third. Two of them decided they could afford to bloom this summer.
Needless to say I was happy! :D

I am still trying to time out the seed ripening time frame. I took a trip up to the summit of Slide Mountain in mid September to try and collect seed. I had mixed results. I collected just enough to share with a couple of friends, but not enough to send to the exchanges. This seems to be one of those Eriogonums that set and ripen seed in an on going cycle. The heads have fresh flowers and ripening seed all at the same time. I think the strong winds dislodge the seed as they ripen. I have to pick a lot material to get a modest volume of seed. I think next year I will go up at the end of August in the hope of catching the blooming cycle at a point that is just past it's peak. My hope is that this would increase the percentage collectable seed available.

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
John P Weiser

Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Such cute things, John.

I had the hardest time timing my trips to western Minnesota to see the Coryphantha vivipara (Ball cactus) bloom.  I was either too late or too early, it seemed.  Then I discovered that a recently bloomed out flower looks just like one that is about to bloom (!)  No wonder I was having problems!

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

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