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(Cimarron wild buckwheat)
Scientific Name: Eriogonum aliquantum Reveal
Vernacular Name: Cimarron wild buckwheat
R-E-D Code: 2-1-3
Description: Annuals; stems erect-spreading, 1.0-3.5 dm tall; basal leaf blades broadly elliptic, 1.5-2.5 cm long, glabrous and green on both surfaces except for scattered villous hairs along the margins and midvein; stem leaves similar to basal leaves, but more reduced; inflorescence open, usually trichotomously branched at the first node then dichotomously branched above; flowers minute, 1-2 mm wide, yellow, glabrous within and without except for a sparsely hispid margin; achenes light brown, 1.7-2.3 mm long. Flowers July through August.
Similar Species: Distinguished from other New Mexico annual Eriogonum species by the character combination of yellow, nearly glabrous flowers and lack of dense tomentum on the lower leaf surface. It somewhat resembles E. divaricatum, but that species has a more spreading-prostrate growth form and pubescent flowers.
Distribution: New Mexico, Colfax County.
Habitat: Dry, eroded, shaley slopes with stands of low shrubs in, otherwise, short grass steppe; or low, clayey flats in alkali sacaton (Sporobolus airoides) grassland; 1,830-2,040 m (6,000-6,700 ft).
Remarks: Presently known only from the Cimarron, Vermejo, and Canadian river basins where the shortgrass prairie meets the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Eriogonum aliquantum is most closely related to E. visheri of North and South Dakota.
Conservation Considerations: Most often found at the shallow erosion rills in the heads of small, dry drainages. These locations are frequently used to excavate stock water tanks. The resulting increased erosion appears to expand the habitat and population numbers of this species. It is not palatable to livestock.
Important Literature (*Illustration):
Reveal, J.L. 1976. Eriogonum (Polygonaceae) of Arizona and New Mexico. Phytologia 34(5):409-484.
Information Compiled By:
Robert Sivinski, 1998