in L. Sitgreaves, Rep. Exped. Zuni Colorado Rivers, 168, plate 8. 1853.
Herbs, monocarpic, 5–20 (–25) dm, strigose or glabrous; taproot often chambered. Stems: caudex absent; aerial flowering-stems usually 1, not fistulose, 2–13 dm, strigose or glabrous. Leaves basal and sometimes cauline; basal petiolate, petiole 2–6 cm, stigose to woolly or glabrous, blade linear-lanceolate or lanceolate to oblanceolate to spatulate, (3–) 5–20 × 0.3–2 cm, strigose, becoming glabrous and green on both surfaces except for margins and midvein; cauline sessile, blade linear-oblanceolate to lanceolate, 1–9 × 0.3–0.8 (–1) cm, similar to basal blade. Inflorescences 2–10 dm; branches strigose or glabrous; bracts semileaflike proximally, linear to linear-lanceolate, 2–9 × 1–3 mm, scalelike distally, triangular, 0.8–5 × 0.5–2 mm. Peduncles erect, straight or curving upward, 0.5–3.5 cm, strigose or glabrous. Involucres turbinate to campanulate, 2–4 (–4.5) × 2–4 (–4.5) mm, strigose or glabrous; teeth 1–1.8 mm. Flowers 1.5–2.5 mm in anthesis, 3–6 mm in fruit; perianth yellow to yellowish green, rarely maroon in anthesis, often reddish or maroon in fruit, glabrous; tepals lanceolate; stamens 1.5–3 mm; filaments glabrous. Achenes yellowish green to reddish-brown, 5–9 mm, glabrous, 3-winged entire length, beakless.
Ariz., Colo., Kans., N.Mex., Nebr., Okla., Tex., Utah, Wyo., including Mexico
Varieties 2 (2 in the flora).
The mature reddish roots of Eriogonum alatum can be distinctively chambered. The Navajo (Diné) people consider the species to be a “life medicine” (L. C. Wyman and S. K. Harris 1951), using a mixture of shredded roots and water primarily to treat internal ailments. The species is used also as a ceremonial medicine (P. A. Vestal 1952). The Zuni use it as an emetic for stomachaches (S. Camazine and R. A. Bye 1980).
|1||Flowering stems and inflorescence branches usually strigose; peduncles strigose or nearly so; involucres strigose, rarely glabrous; plants 5-13(-17) dm; n Arizona, Colorado, w Kansas, sw Nebraska, New Mexico, w Texas, e Utah, se Wyoming||Eriogonum alatum var. alatum|
|1||Flowering stems and inflorescence branches glabrous or nearly so; peduncles glabrous, occasionally slightly strigose; involucres glabrous; plants 10-20(-25) dm; ne New Mexico, w Oklahoma, n Texas||Eriogonum alatum var. glabriusculum|
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