Plants subshrubs or shrubs, erect to spreading, not scapose, 0.2–1.5 dm tall, (0.6) 1–13 (16) dm across, white- to tannish-tomentose, floccose, or glabrous; stems spreading to erect, typically without persistent leaf bases, up to 1⁄2 height of plant, the caudex stems absent or spreading, the aerial flowering stems erect to spreading, slender, solid, not fistulose, 0.05–1.5 dm long, lanate, tomentose, floccose, subglabrous, or glabrous; leaves cauline, 1 per node or fasciculate, the petiole 0.1–0.5 cm long, tomentose to floccose or glabrous, the blade usually elliptic, sometimes linear to obovate, 0.3–3.5 cm long, (0.07) 0.1–1.2 cm wide, tomentose abaxially, less so or glabrous adaxially, with occasionally revolute margins; inflorescences cymose, compact, often flat- topped, 0.5–6 (12) cm long, 1–10 (13) cm wide, the branches dichotomous, whitish-lanate to brownish- or reddish-tomentose to floccose or glabrate, infrequently green or gray and subglabrous or glabrous, the bracts 3, scalelike, linear to triangular, 1–5 mm long; peduncles absent or more often erect, slender, 0.3–1.5 cm long, tomentose to floccose; involucres 1 per node, turbinate, (1.5) 2–3.5 (4) mm long, 1.3–2.5 (3) mm wide, tomentose, floccose, subglabrous or glabrous, the teeth 5, erect, (0.3) 0.5–1 (1.7) mm long; flowers 1.5–3 (4) mm long, the perianth yellow or white to pink, orange, rose, red or, occasionally, cream, glabrous, the hypanthium 1/5–2/5 length of perianth, the tepals essentially monomorphic, oblong to obovate, the stamens usually exserted, 2.5–4 mm long, the filaments sparsely to densely puberulent proximally; achenes brown, 1.5–3 mm long, glabrous.
Eriogonum microthecum var. simpsonii. Plants shrubs, (1) 2–15 dm tall, 4–16 dm across; stems lacking a caudex, the aerial flowering stems 0.2–0.7 dm long, densely lanate to tomentose, sometimes floccose, rarely glabrous; leaf blades narrowly elliptic, 0.5– 1.8 (2.5) cm long, 0.1–0.2 cm wide, densely whitish-tomentose abaxially, mostly whitish-floccose adaxially, the margins revolute or nearly so; inflorescences (1.5) 2–4 (6) cm long, the branches tomentose to floccose, rarely subglabrous or glabrous; involucres 2–3 mm long, tomentose to floccose or subglabrous; flowers 2–3 mm long, the perianth white to pink or rose; achenes 2–3 mm long.
Flowering Jun-Oct. Clayey to gravelly or occasionally sandy washes, flats and slopes, mixed grassland, saltbush, blackbrush, and sagebrush communities, pinyon-juniper and montane conifer woodlands; 1400–2300 m.