The flowers were taken at 2486 m. of altitude, in Death Valley, above Thorndike Camp, Wild Rose Canyon, where I went with my 27 foot RV. Yes I did.
I was puzzled, first, as I did not know that Eriogonum microthecum var. laxiflorum was also present – and with pinkish flowers. The two species mixed beautifully, on the side of the trail , with the pinkish matured Eriogonum umbellatum var. versicolor and the red Eriogonum eremicola, on September 1 st, 2014 – blooming, or fading, in red and pink nuances all in the same time. I could not find Eriogonum panamintense, in the Wild Rose Canyon, though, but well, I was able, that day, to photograph 7 species of Eriogonum.
And Eriogonum microthecum var. panamintense is very similar to Eriogonum microthecum var. laxiflorum. As Jim wrote in his 1971 “Revision of the Eriogonum microthecum complex”:
«The affinity of vars. panamintense and laxiflorum cannot be denied. The two are very similar, differing in the color of the tomentum, the broader leaves (as compared with the var. laxiflorum in the same area), and the brownish tinge to the flower color. As an isolated population, adaptive radiation has likely played a major role in the evolution of var. panamintense, but the degree of isolation is not as strong as it is in the following two variants –Eriogonum microthecum Nutt. var. corymbosoides and Eriogonum microthecum var. johnstonii.
In the field var. panamintense is easily distinguished by the large brownish shrubs which occupy the lower elevations on the west side of the Panamint Range and the Inyo Mountains. At the higher elevations, the plants tend to be shorter and more compact, but still the plants are relatively large when compared with the low scraggly forms of var. laxiflorum at these same higher elevations ».
Large, rounded to flat-topped shrubs 3-6 dm high and (4) 5-12 (15) dm across; leaves mostly broadly elliptical, 0.6-1.8 cm long, 3-8 mm wide, tomentose below, floccose to subglabrous above, the tomentum whitish-brown to brown, the margins plane, not revolute, the apices acute to obtuse; flowering stems slender, 5-10 (15) cm long, floccose, the tomentum reddish-brown in most; involucres 2-2.5 mm long, subglabrous to glabrous; flowers whitish-brown with large reddish-brown midribs and bases, becoming reddish-brown in fruit, 1.5-2 (2.5) mm long, the tepals dissimilar, the outer whorl of tepals obovate, the bases truncate to cordate, the inner whorl narrower; achenes 1,8-2.1 mm long.
Flowering Jul-Oct. Gravelly slopes, sagebrush communities, pinyon-juniper woodlands; 1900–2800 m; Argus Range, Inyo Mountains and Panamint Range, Inyo Co., California.