Eriogonum butterworthianum
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Photo taken on rocks south of Junipero Sierra Peak in the eastern Santa Lucia Mountains © 1999 by John Game

Photo taken on rocks south of Junipero Sierra Peak in the eastern Santa Lucia Mountains © 1999 by John Game

A red polygon indicates an extant occurrence

A red polygon indicates an extant occurrence

This fact sheet was prepared by Grey F. Hayes and Dean W. Taylor under award NA04N0S4200074 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC). The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NOAA or the DOC.

© Copyright 2006, Elkhorn Slough Coastal Training Program

Last updated: Sep 2, 2007 12:12

Common Names - Butterworth's buckwheat

Family - Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family)

State Status - state rare
(November 1979)

Federal Status - none


Sandstone cliffs and outcrops in chaparral or foothill woodland, commonly with Castilleja foliolosa, 600-700 m.

Key Characteristics

Subshrubs 1–4 dm tall and to ca. 3 dm wide, stems slightly spreading to erect, tomentose, grayish to reddish; leaf blades linear to narrowly elliptic, 5–20 mm long and to 4 mm wide, the margins revolute, white-tomentose below, less pubescent and more greenish-gray above; involucres solitary and sessile, 5–6 mm long, ribbed and with 5 teeth; inflorescences cymose-umbellate to cymose, rarely capitate, tepals glabrous, 4–5 mm long, tawny-yellow to rose, the base not stipate. Relatively novel in habit and appearance and not readily mistaken for any other species in our region.

Flowering Period

June to July

Reference Population

The Indians, Los Padres National Forest (Monterey County).

Global Distribution

Endemic to the Santa Lucia Mountains (Monterey County).


Stephenson and Calcarone (1999) estimated only 65 acres of occupied habitat, but field surveys are not complete over large areas of suitable habitat. Perhaps only a few thousand total individuals total are known. Vulnerable to minor impacts associated with hikers on the Junipero Serra trail. Reveal (1989) considered the relationships of E. butterworthianum within subgenus Eucycla to be uncertain, but it seems to me to be related to E. microthecum, and resembles in disjunction that of Carlquistia muirii, isolated in the Santa Lucia Mountains and also the Sierra.  


Stephenson, J. R. and G. M. Calcarone. 1999. Southern California mountains and foothills assessment: habitat and species conservation issues. USDA Forest Service GTR-PSW-175.

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