Plants herbs, spreading, matted, synoecious, 0.5–4 dm tall, (1.5) 2–8 (12) dm across, thinly tomentose to floccose or glabrate; stems with caudex spreading, the aerial flowering stems erect, slender, solid, not fistulose, arising at nodes of caudex branches and at distal nodes of short, non-flowering aerial branches, 0.4–4 dm long, thinly tomentose to floccose or glabrate; leaves in rather compact basal rosettes, the petioles 0.1–1.5 cm long, tomentose, the blades elliptic, 0.7–2 (2.2) cm long, 0.4–1 (1.2) cm wide, or ovate, 0.8–1.4 (2.5) cm long, 0.5– 1.2 (2) cm wide, densely white- or rufous-tomentose abaxially, thinly tomentose, sparsely floccose, or glabrous and greenish adaxially, the margins slightly wavy; inflorescences compound-umbellate, 1–3 (6) cm long, 1–5 cm wide, thinly tomentose to glabrate; bracts: proximal 3–8, lanceolate to narrowly elliptic, 0.5–2 cm long, 0.25–1 cm wide, distal 3, semi-foliaceous, midway along branch, linear to narrowly lanceolate, 0.7–1 cm long, 0.1–0.25 cm wide, or ± scalelike below involucre, 1–5 mm long; involucres 1 per node, turbinate to turbinate- campanulate, 3.5–8 mm long, 2.5–4 mm wide, villous, the teeth 5–8, erect, 0.5–2 mm long; flowers 5–7 mm long at anthesis, 6.5–9 mm long in fruit, including a 0.5–0.8 mm long stipelike base, with perianth cream or rarely yellow, suffused with blush of pinkish-red to maroon, glabrous, or flowers 4–6 mm long, including a 1– 1.3 mm long stipelike base, with perianth pale yellow or rarely yellow, not suffused with blush of color glabrous, the tepals slightly dimorphic or monomorphic, broadly ovate or obovate, the stamens exserted, 3–5 mm long, the filaments pilose proximally; achenes light brown, (5) 5.5–8 mm long or 3–3.5 mm long, glabrous except for sparsely pubescent beak.
- Flowers 5–9 mm long, perianth cream, rarely yellow; achenes (5) 5.5–8 mm long; North Coast Ranges, Sis- kiyou and Trinity cos : Eriogonum ursinum var. erubescens.
- Flowers 4–6 mm long, perianth pale yellow or rarely yellow; achenes 3–3.5 mm long; n Sierra Nevada, Lassen and Shasta cos. to Nevada, Placer, Plumas, and Sierra cos : Eriogonum ursinum. var. ursinum.
Eriogonum ursinum. var. ursinum. Flowering May-Sep. Sandy to gravelly, mostly volcanic flats and slopes, oak and montane conifer woodlands; (500) 900–2500 (2800) m; northern Sierra Nevada (Butte, Lassen, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, and Sierra cos.), with a series of disjunct populations in Tehama and Shasta cos., California.