Search Field Guide
Advanced Search
MT Gov Logo
Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Rabbit Buckwheat - Eriogonum brevicaule var. canum
Other Names:  Eriogonum lagopus, Eriogonum pauciflorum var. canum

Potential Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G3G4
State Rank: S3S4
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank: 3

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Regional endemic taxa restricted in Montana to the Bighorn Basin/Pryor Mountain Desert area where it is locally abundant in some locality and is a dominant component of some vegetation communities. Trends are unknown, though likely stable.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Rabbit Buckwheat (Eriogonum brevicaule var. canum) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 11/01/2012
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Population Size

    Score0-1 - Moderate to Large: Population size is imprecisely known but is believed to be >10,000 individuals.

    Range Extent

    Score3 - Local Endemic or Very Small Montana Range: Generally restricted to an area <10,000 sq. miles (equivalent to the combined area of Phillips and Valley Counties) or <6 Sub-basins (4th code watersheds) Range-wide OR limited to one Sub-basin in Montana

    Area of Occupancy

    Score1 - Moderate: Generally occurring in 11-25 Subwatersheds (6th Code HUC’s).

    Environmental Specificity

    Score0-1 - Low to Moderate.


    Score0-1 - Stable to Minor Declines:

    CommentTrends unknown, though populations are likely stable or experiencing only minor declines.


    Score0-1 - Low to Medium.

    Intrinsic Vulnerability

    Score0-1 - Low to Moderate Vulnerability.

    Raw Conservation Status Score

    Score 4 to 9 total points scored out of a possible 19.

General Description
Cespitose, tomentose perennial. Flowering stems ascending to erect, 5–20 cm. Leaves mostly basal; the blade linear-oblong, 1–3 cm long. Inflorescence an open, umbellate cyme; bracts scale-like; involucres tomentose, 2–4 mm long with 5 erect lobes. Flowers 1–3 mm long, yellow, cup-shaped; tepals sparsely hairy, similar in shape; stamens exserted. Achenes 2–3 mm long (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Flowering in June.

Species Range
Montana Range


Range Comments
Regional endemic of southern Montana and north-central Wyoming. In Montana, known from 40 large ocurrences documented by Lesica and Achuff (1992) in the Bighorn Basin and from extensive, contiguous population in the Bighorn Canyon NRA (Heidel and Fertig 2000).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 80

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Sparsely vegetated, stony, sandy or clay soils of grasslands or shrub steppe in the valleys and lower montane zone.

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Heidel, B.L. and W. Fertig. 2000. Rare plants of Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. Report to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, National Park Service. Montana Natural Heritage Program and Wyoming Natural Diversity Database. Helena and Laramie. 63 pp. plus appendices.
    • Lesica, P. and P.L. Achuff. 1992. Conservation status of Eriogonum X Lagopus in southern Carbon County, Montana. Unpublished report to the Bureau of Land Management. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT. 19 pp.
    • Lesica, P. and P.L. Achuff. 1992. Distribution of vascular plant species of special concern and limited distribution in the Pryor Mountain desert, Carbon County, Montana. Unpublished report to the Bureau of Land Management. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT. 105 pp.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Rabbit Buckwheat"
Login Logout
Citation for data on this website:
Rabbit Buckwheat — Eriogonum brevicaule var. canum.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from