This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek, woolly joints). Polygonaceae. About 140 species, W. N. American (with extension into Mex.), herbs tufted sub-shrubs or slender annuals, mostly densely woolly: leaves crowded at the base of the stem, alternate or whorled, entire: flowers small, perfect, in an involucrate head, fascicle or umbel, mostly recurved or reflexed with age, mostly white, rose or yellow; perianth 6-parted; stamens 9; styles 3: fruit an achene, mostly 3-angled. Now and then some of the species are listed by dealers in native plants, but they can hardly be regarded as cult, subjects. E. compositum, Douglas, perhaps the best known, has very many minute neutral-colored flowers, dull white to rosy, borne in compound umbels 5-6 in. deep and broad. B.R. 1774. The following have been advertised, but are practically unknown in our gardens: E. campanulatum, E. compdsitum, E. flavum, E. heracleoides, E. incanum, E. microthecum variety effusum, E, niveum, E. nudum, E. ovalifolium, E. racembsum, E. sphserocephalum, E. thymoides, E. umbelldtum. E. giganteum makes a mound or mat many feet across.
G.C. III. 28:337. Descriptions of eriogonums may be readily found in the floras of the western part of the U. S.