Eriogonum divaricatum

On September 6th 2014, I was chasing the Buckwheats around the Meteor Crater Center and taking a plethora of early pictures starting at 7 AM. Then, while I was shooting images (and there was strictly no visitors in the center), I got chased 3 times by the staff of the place; the last time being at 8H10 AM, when I was taking difficult pictures of Eriogonum divaricatum – difficult because the flowers are very dispersed and because of the same color background. Thus, I got chased the third time, 2 kms away from the center, because I was taking pictures of a pretty rare and discrete species of Wild Buckwheats, a few meters from the road, supposedly on a private land – a desert place with no fence and no animals (35°2’30” / N 111°2’3″ W). What is going on?

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Plants herbs, spreading, 1–2 (3) dm tall, puberulent to short-pilose, greenish to reddish; aerial flowering stems decumbent to spreading, 0.3–0.5 dm long, puberulent to short-pilose; leaves basal and cauline, the basal ones with petioles 1–4 (5) cm long, puberulent to short-pilose, the blades elliptic-oblong to orbiculate, 1–2 (2.5) cm long and wide, puberulent to short-pilose and green on both surfaces, the cauline ones with petioles (0) 0.1–2cm long, puberulent to short-pilose, absent distally, the blades opposite, oblanceolate to oblong or elliptic, 0.3– 1 (1.5) cm long, 0.2–0.8 (1.2) cm wide, similar to basal blade; inflorescences cymose, distally uniparous due to suppression of secondary branches, diffuse, 5–25 cm long, 10–45 cm wide, the branches puberulent, the bracts 1–3 (5) mm long, 1–2 mm wide; peduncles absent; involucres somewhat appressed to branches, campanulate, 1–2 mm long and wide, pilose, the teeth 5, lobelike, spreading to somewhat reflexed, 0.7–1.5 mm long; flowers (1) 1.5–2 mm long, the perianth yellow, rarely pale yellow, hispidulous and glandular with yellowish-white hairs, the tepals monomorphic, oblong-lanceolate to oblong-ovate, the stamens included, 0.7– 1.5 mm long, the filaments pilose proximally; achenes light brown, trigonous, 1.5–2 mm long.

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Flowering May-Oct. Heavy clay flats and slopes, saltbush, greasewood, and sagebrush communities, pinyon-juniper woodlands; 1100–2300 (2500) m.

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