Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
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James C. Hickman

Annual to trees, some dioecious
Stem: nodes often swollen
Leaves simple, basal or cauline, alternate, opposite, or whorled, generally entire; stipules 0 or obvious and fused into a generally scarious sheath around stem
Inflorescence: small cluster, axillary or arrayed in cymes or panicles; involucres sometimes subtending 1–many flowers
Flower generally bisexual, small, ± radial; perianth generally 5–6-lobed, base ± tapered, often jointed to pedicel; stamens 2–9, often in 2 whorls; ovary superior, styles generally 3, generally fused at base
Fruit: achene, generally enclosed by persistent perianth, generally 3-angled, ovoid, and glabrous
Genera in family: 50 genera, 1100 species: worldwide, especially n temp; some cultivated for food (Fagopyrum ; Rheum , rhubarb; Rumex , sorrel) or ornamental (Antigonon , coral-vine; Muehlenbeckia ; Polygonum )
Reference: [Ronse Decraene & Akeroyd 1988 Bot J Linn Soc 98:321–371; Reveal et al. 1989 Phytologia 66(2–4):83–414]
Treatments of the 15 eriogonoid genera are based on the monographic work of James L. Reveal, who is gratefully acknowledged.



Annual to shrub
Leaves generally ± basal (clustered on low stems or cauline), petioled, generally ± tomentose below (often shedding above); stipule 0
Inflorescence openly cyme-like, umbel-like, or head-like, generally ± scapose; bracts (any whorled, leaf-like structures on inflorescence) 3–many per node, leaf-like to scale-like; involucres generally 1 per node, generally ± obconic, lobes (or short teeth) generally 3–10, generally erect; flowers generally many per involucre, pedicelled
Flower: perianth white, yellow, or red, lobes 6, generally ± oblong to obovate; stamens 9
Fruit brown to black, glabrous to hairy
Species in genus: ± 250 species: North America
Etymology: (Greek: woolly knees, from hairy nodes of some)
Reference: [Reveal 1989 Phytologia 66:295–414]
Largest dicot genus in CA; apparently currently differentiating; many taxa ± indistinct. Better habitat data needed. Many are excellent bee fodder
Horticultural information: Most are attractive and easy to grow with good drainage.


E. umbellatum Torr.


[Group 3] Perennial to shrub, 10–200 cm, 10–200 cm diam
Leaves clustered on low stems; blade 3–40 mm, generally ± elliptic, generally densely tomentose (especially below)
Inflorescence umbel- to head-like, erect, slender; bracts leaf-like, subtending rays (if ray 1, appearing whorled near mid-axis), rarely alternate on main axis); involucre generally 1 per ray, 1–6 mm, ± tomentose, lobes 6–12, long, reflexed
Flower: perianth 2.5–12 mm, generally ± yellow becoming reddish (cream to purple), glabrous, lobes ± obovate, stalk-like base long, distinct
Fruit 2–5 mm, glabrous
Ecology: Abundant. Dry, open, often rocky places
Elevation: 200–3700 m.
Bioregional distribution: California (except North Coast, Great Central Valley, Central Coast, South Coast, Channel Islands, Sonoran Desert)
Distribution outside California: to w Canada, Colorado, New Mexico
Extremely variable and difficult. Many vars. intergrade, best dispositions unclear; more study needed.


var. covillei (Small) Munz & Reveal

Low mat
Leaf: blade 2–6 mm wide, ± narrowly elliptic, sometimes remaining densely tomentose above
Inflorescence simple, generally spreading
Flower: perianth 2–5 mm, bright yellow
Ecology: Uncommon. Subalpine rocks
Elevation: 2600–3600 m.
Bioregional distribution: c&s High Sierra Nevada (especially Tulare, Inyo cos.), White and Inyo Mountains
Flowering time: Jul–Sep
Intergrades with var. nevadense.

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bioregional map for ERIOGONUM%20umbellatum%20var.%20covillei being generated
YOU CAN HELP US make sure that our distributional information is correct and current. If you know that a plant occurs in a wild, reproducing state in a Jepson bioregion NOT highlighted on the map, please contact us with that information. Please realize that we cannot incorporate range extensions without access to a voucher specimen, which should (ultimately) be deposited in an herbarium. You can send the pressed, dried collection (with complete locality information indicated) to us (e-mail us for details) or refer us to an accessioned herbarium specimen. Non-occurrence of a plant in an indicated area is difficult to document, but we will especially value your input on those types of possible errors (see automatic conversion of distribution data to maps).

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Eriogonum umbellatum var. covillei
Retrieve dichotomous key for Eriogonum
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
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