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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Crosby's Buckwheat - Eriogonum crosbyae
Other Names:  Eriogonum capistratum var. muhlickii, Eriogonum chrysops [misapplied]

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G4
State Rank: S3
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Rare to Uncommon. This entity is restricted to high elevation sites in the Bitterroot Range and in the Anaconda-Pintlers, where it may be locally common in some areas. Good population data are lacking for most occurrences, though it's long-term viability does not appear to be a major concern at this time due, in part, to the remoteness of its habitat.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Crosby's Buckwheat (Eriogonum crosbyae) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 11/01/2012
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Population Size

    Score2 - Small: Generally 2,000-10,000 individuals.

    CommentEstimated as population levels from specimen collections are largely unknown.

    Range Extent

    Score2 - Regional or State Endemic or Small Montana Range: Generally restricted to an area <100,000 sq. miles (equivalent to 2/3 the size of Montana or less) or Montana contributes 50% or more of the species’ range or populations OR limited to 2-3 Sub-basins in Montana.

    Area of Occupancy

    Score2 - Low: Generally occurring in 4-10 Subwatersheds (6th Code HUC’s).

    Environmental Specificity

    Score1 - Moderate: Species is restricted to a specific habitat that is more widely distributed or to several restricted habitats and is typically dependent upon relatively unaltered, good-quality habitat (C Values of 5-7).


    ScoreNA - Rank factor not assessed.

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


    Score0-1 - Low to Medium.

    Intrinsic Vulnerability

    Score1 - Moderate Vulnerability: Specific biological attributes, unusual life history characteristics or limited reproductive potential makes the species susceptible to extirpation from stochastic events or other adverse impacts to its habitat and slow to recover.

    Raw Conservation Status Score

    Score 8 to 9 total points scored out of a possible 16 (Rarity factors and threats only).

General Description
Cushion-forming perennial from a woody, branched caudex. Flowering stems erect, 1–10 cm, covered in old leaf bases. Leaves all basal, the blades oblanceolate to spatulate, tomentose, 5–10 mm long. Inflorescence capitate; bracts scale-like; involucre lobes 5 to 7, erect to spreading, tomentose, 2–4 mm long. Flowers 2–4 mm long, yellow to red, campanulate; tepals glabrous, basally punctate, similar in shape; stamens exserted. Achenes 2–4 mm long (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Diagnostic Characteristics
The name Eriogonum crosbyae, as used here is equivalent to the broad concept used in the Flora of North America and not to the older, more strict concept still used by NatureServe.

Species Range

Range Comments
OR, ID, MT and NV (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 26

(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)

Talus slopes, cliffs and rocky ridges in the subalpine to alpine zones.

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Citation for data on this website:
Crosby's Buckwheat — Eriogonum crosbyae.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from