This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Perennial, woody, especially below, more or less floccose-tomentose throughout; stem erect or ascending, branched, especially from the base, leafy below, naked above, 6'-12' high. Leaves oblong or oblanceolate, obtuse at the apex, narrowed into short petioles, 1 /2-2' long, the upper bract-like; inflorescence compoundly cymose; involucres top-shaped, 1 1/2 long, 5-toothed, the teeth obtusish; bracts triangular; calyx white, pink or reddish, 1 1/2" long, campanulate, at length constricted near the middle; stamens and style-branches included; achene pointed, 1" long, rough on the angles.
Western Nebraska to Washington, south to New Mexico and California. July-Oct.
Eriogonum effusum Nutt. Journ. Acad. Phila.
(II.) 1: 164. 1848. Eriogonum microthecum effusum T. & G. Proc.
Am. Acad. 8: 172. 1870.
Perennial, shrubby, 6-16' high, white floccose-tomentose; stem stout, diffusely branched. Leaves linear or narrowly oblong, 1/2-1 1/2 long, revolute; peduncles 3/4'-4' long, topped by 5-7 times compound stiff corymbose cymes; bracts scale-like; involucres narrowly campanulate, 1"-1 1/2' high, the tube slightly angled, the teeth rather obtuse; calyx 1" high, white, glabrous, the outer segments cuneate-obovate, rounded at the apex, the inner notched; filaments villous, especially below the middle; achenes 3-angled.
On dry plains or prairies, South Dakota and Nebraska to Wyoming, south to New Mexico. Summer.
E. cernuum Nutt. Journ. Acad. Phila. (II.) 1: 162. 1848.
Annual, low, stem very short; scape erect, usually much branched, 6-12' high. Leaves confined to the short stem, orbicular or oblong-orbicular, less than 1' long, obtuse or slightly apiculate, flat, floccose-tomentose, especially beneath, petioled; inflorescence paniculate; involucres campanulate, slightly more than ¥' long, solitary on slender deflexed peduncles 1' long or less, 5-cleft to near the middle, the lobes obtuse; bracts triangular or lanceolate, not foliaceous; calyx whitish, campanulate, 1/2"' long, 6-parted, slightly constricted near the summit, the segments fiddle-shaped; stamens and style-branches included; achene 1/2" long, nearly globular at the base, rough on the angles.
Nebraska and Kansas to New Mexico and Utah. July-Sept.
Eriogonum Gordoni Benth., with the habit of E. cernuum; but with glabrous leaves, erect slender peduncles and oblong calyx-segments, extends from Colorado into South Dakota.