Nov. 30, 2020

salt buckwheat, Stenogonum salsuginosum

Here in the east the knotweed family is not the most eyecatching bunch of wildflowers.  The flowers tend to be small and relatively colorless.  Knotweeds, smartweeds, dock?  Ho hum.  But then you go on south, or west!  Bistorts!  Coral vines!  And of course wild buckwheats!  Opinions vary on whether this is Stenogonum, or if it should be placed with the Eriogonums.  Either way it's among the 250 or so species of wild buckwheats that don't grow in Michigan.  They're a fascinating and often beautiful bunch.  Useful too, with about 250 citations for food or medicine in the Native American Ethnobotany Database.  Salt buckwheat is a bushy little herb that gets maybe a foot high, and can be covered with these little yellow clusters.  This species grows in AZ, CO, MT, NM, NV, UT, and WY.  Summit Co CO, 6/17/13.