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''Eriogonum fasciculatum'' is a species of wild buckwheat known by the common names California buckwheat and eastern Mojave buckwheat.


Distribution

This common
shrub A shrub (often called a bush) is a small- to medium-sized perennial A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the Kingdom (biology), kingdom Plantae. Historically, the p ...

shrub
is native to the
Southwestern United States The Southwestern United States, also known as the American Southwest or simply the Southwest, is a geographic and cultural list of regions of the United States, region of the United States that generally includes Arizona, New Mexico, and adjacen ...
,
California California is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

California
, and northwestern Mexico. It is found from the coasts of California and
Baja California Baja CaliforniaSometimes informally referred to as ('North Lower California') to distinguish it from both the Baja California Peninsula The Baja California Peninsula ( en, Lower California Peninsula, es, Península de Baja California) is ...
; eastwards through the Southern
California Coast Ranges The Coast Ranges of California California is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The Sta ...

California Coast Ranges
,
Transverse Ranges The Transverse Ranges are a group of mountain ranges of southern California Southern California (sometimes known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the southern portion of the U.S. s ...
, and
Peninsular Ranges The Peninsular Ranges (also called the Lower California province) are a group of mountain ranges that stretch from Southern California Southern California (sometimes known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region ...
; and further east into the
Mojave Desert The Mojave Desert ( ; mov, Hayikwiir Mat'aar) is a xeric Deserts and xeric shrublands are a biome A biome is a collection of plants Plants are mainly multicellular organisms, predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a ...

Mojave Desert
and
Great Basin The Great Basin ( es, Gran Cuenca) is the largest area of contiguous endorheic watersheds – those with no outlets – in North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Gene ...
. It grows on slopes and dry washes in diverse habitats, including
chaparral Chaparral ( ) is a shrubland Shrubland, scrubland, scrub, brush, or bush is a plant community characterized by vegetation dominance (ecology), dominated by shrubs, often also including grasses, Herbaceous plant, herbs, and geophytes. Shrublan ...

chaparral
,
coastal sage scrub Coastal sage scrub, also known as coastal scrub, CSS, or soft chaparral, is a low scrubland Shrubland, scrubland, scrub, brush, or bush is a plant community A plant community is a collection or Association (ecology), association of plant spec ...
, grasslands,
sagebrush scrub Sagebrush scrub is a vegetation type (biome) of mid to high elevation Western United States deserts characterized by low growing, drought resistant shrubs including sagebrush (''Artemisia tridentata'') and its associates.Karen Wiese, Sierra Nevada W ...
, pinyon-juniper woodland, and
creosote bush scrub Creosote bush scrub is a North American desert vegetation type (or biome) of sparsely but evenly spaced desert plants dominated by creosote bush (''Larrea tridentata'') and its associates. Its visual characterization is of widely spaced shrubs that ...
.


Description

''Eriogonum fasciculatum'' is variable in appearance, forming a patchy, compact bramble or a spreading bush approaching in height and across. The leaves grow in clusters at nodes along the branches and are leathery, woolly on the undersides, and rolled under along the edges. Flowers appear in dense, frilly clusters which may be anywhere from a few millimeters to 15 centimeters wide. Each individual flower is pink and white and only a few millimeters across.


Varieties

There are a number of distinct varieties, they include: *''Eriogonum fasciculatum'' var. ''emphereium''—
endemic Endemism is the state of a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest gro ...
to western El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve *''Eriogonum fasciculatum'' var. ''fasciculatum'' *''Eriogonum fasciculatum'' var. ''flavoviride''—eastern Mojave buckwheat. *''Eriogonum fasciculatum'' var. ''foliolosum''—red topped buckwheat. *''Eriogonum fasciculatum'' var. ''polifolium''


Uses


Humans

California buckwheat has been used as a food crop and medicinal plant by various Native American tribes. Some tribes would make tea from the leaves, stems, and roots; whilst other tribes used the seeds to be consumed raw or used in porridges and baked items. The
Tongva The Tongva ( ) are an indigenous people of California The indigenous peoples of California (known as Native Californians) are the indigenous inhabitants who have lived or currently live in the geographic area within the current boundaries of ...
, who call the plant wilakal, gather the leaves before flowering to make into a strong thick tea and grind the dried roots to use for headaches and stomach problems. This widespread species was used extensively as a traditional
medicinal plant Medicinal plants, also called medicinal herbs, have been discovered and used in traditional medicine Traditional medicine (also known as indigenous Indigenous may refer to: *Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as ...

medicinal plant
by Native Americans for a variety of ailments, including the treatment of
headache Headache is the symptom of pain Pain is a distressing feeling often caused by intense or damaging stimuli. The defines pain as "an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with, or resembling that associated with, actual or ...

headache
,
diarrhea Diarrhea, also spelled diarrhoea, is the condition of having at least three loose, liquid, or watery defecation, bowel movements each day. It often lasts for a few days and can result in dehydration due to fluid loss. Signs of dehydration of ...
, and
wound A wound is a type of injury Injury, also known as physical trauma, is damage Damage is any change in a thing, often a physical object, that degrades it away from its initial state. It can broadly be defined as "changes introduced into a ...

wound
s. The
Zuni people The Zuni ( zun, A:shiwi; formerly spelled ''Zuñi'') are Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Am ...
use a
poultice A poultice, also called a cataplasm, is a soft moist mass, often heated and medicated, that is spread on cloth and placed over the skin to treat an aching, inflammation, inflamed or painful part of the body. It can be used on wounds such as cuts. ...
of powdered root and apply it to cuts and arrow or bullet wounds. A
decoction Decoction is a method of extraction by boiling herbal A herbal is a book containing the names and descriptions of plants, usually with information on their medicinal, tonic, culinary, toxic Toxicity is the degree to which a chemical subst ...
of the root is taken after
parturition Birth is the act or process of bearing or bringing forth offspring In biology, offspring are the young creation of living organisms, produced either by a Asexual reproduction, single organism or, in the case of sexual reproduction, two organ ...
to heal lacerations. This same decoction is also taken for hoarseness and colds involving the throat.


Wildlife

This species is the most important native source of honey in California, particularly attractive to numerous species of native bees and other pollinators, and is a good source of nectar over many months in dryer areas.Flora of North America: ''Eriogonum fasciculatum''
/ref> It also attracts introduced . California buckwheats are nectar food plants for several butterflies, notably the Bernardino dotted-blue ('' Euphilotes bernardino''), lupine blue ('' Icaricia lupini''), Mormon metalmark (''Apodemia mormo''), and Behr's metalmark ('' Apodemia virgulti''). Probably the butterfly most commonly seen with the species is the nut-brown hairstreak (''Satyrium saepium''), which frequents plants in full flower. It is a larval host for the Acmon blue, blue copper, Electra buckmoth, Lycaena gorgon, Gorgon copper, lupine blue, and western green hairstreak.The Xerces Society (2016), ''Gardening for Butterflies: How You Can Attract and Protect Beautiful, Beneficial Insects'', Timber Press.


Cultivation

''Eriogonum fasciculatum'' is cultivated as an ornamental plant, for planting in List of California native plants, native plant, xeriscape, drought tolerant, and wildlife gardens, and for larger designed natural landscaping and habitat restoration projects.


References


External links


Calflora Database: ''Eriogonum fasciculatum'' (California buckwheat)Jepson Manual eFlora (TJM2) treatment of ''Eriogonum fasciculatum''UC CalPhotos gallery
{{clear Eriogonum, fasciculatum Flora of California Flora of Baja California Flora of the Southwestern United States Natural history of the California chaparral and woodlands Natural history of the California Coast Ranges Natural history of the Mojave Desert Natural history of the Peninsular Ranges Natural history of the Santa Monica Mountains Natural history of the Transverse Ranges Plants used in traditional Native American medicine Pseudocereals