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Eriogonum compositum (Arrowleaf buckwheat)
Reveal, James L.

Eriogonum compositum

Eriogonum compositum Douglas ex Benth.

Arrowleaf Buckwheat, Arrow-leaf Wild Buckwheat, Northern Buckwheat

Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family)


USDA Symbol: ERCO12

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A strong, woody taproot supports the more-or-less prostrate, branched stems which form a mat-like clump up to 1 ft. wide. Leaves, on long, slender stalks, are oval to heart-shaped. Matted clumps of basal leaves with leafless stems and roundish clusters of tiny, whitish to deep yellow flowers. They are green above, white-woolly below. Creamy-white to deep yellow, tubular flowers are borne in rounded clusters on leafless stalks about 20 in. tall.

This is a highly variable species in a genus of many species, most of which are difficult to distinguish from one another. The seeds are an important food for small wildlife, including ants. Eriogonum, from the Greek erion ("wool") and gony ("knee" or "joint"), refers to the hairy stems of many species.


From the Image Gallery

32 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Achene
Size Notes: Up to about 2 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul


USA: CA , ID , OR , WA
Native Distribution: E. of the Cascades from Chelan Co., WA to n. CA, e. to Nez Perce Co., ID & n.e. OR
Native Habitat: Cliffs; talus; open, rocky slopes

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry, rocky soils.

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Supports Conservation Biological Control

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Description: Propagate only by seed as it is nearly impossible to transplant or divide the long taproots of mature plants. Plant seed thickly as germination is low.
Seed Collection: The three-sided achene can be hand-stripped from the plant.
Seed Treatment: Seeds of this genus generally germinate without pretreatment but in such a large genus, a variety of germination responses can be expected.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Eriogonum compositum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Eriogonum compositum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Eriogonum compositum


Record Modified: 2023-02-08
Research By: TWC Staff

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