New Mexico Wildflowers: Buckwheat Family

(Polygonaceae)

 

Also known as the Smartweed-Buckwheat Family or Knotweed Family. Flowers are organized alphabetically by genus and species. Hover over a photo series to control the images.


Nodding Buckwheat (Eriogonum cernuum)

This plant looks like nothing but stems, and not many of those, unless you find the basal rosette of rounded leaves. The small clusters of white flowers occur on short stems, which can be hanging (hence the "nodding" part of the name) or erect. 

 

James' Buckwheat (Eriogonum jamesii)

 

Redroot Buckwheat (Eriogonum racemosum)

 

Wright's Buckwheat (Eriogonum wrightii)

 

Pale Smartweed (Persicaria lapathifolia)

The flowers on this plant occur in spike-like clusters, are white to pink, and do not fully open. As the flower clusters grow longer, they nod (bend over).

 

Prostrate Knotweed (Polygonum aviculare)

 

Curly Dock (Rumex crispus)

What makes curly dock distinctive isn't its tiny greenish flowers but its large leaves and seed heads. The three-winged fruits (green drying to brown) each contains a single seed. This was a food plant for Native Americans.