Plants shrubs, spreading to rounded, 5–15 (20) dm tall, 5–20 dm across; aerial flowering stems erect, 1.5–3 dm long, mostly tomentose, without one or more foliaceous bracts about mid-length; leaves in loose rosettes, the blades elliptic to ovate, 1–3 cm long, 0.5–2.5 cm wide, densely gray-lanate to tomentose abaxially, floccose or glabrous and green adaxially, the margins plane; inflorescences compound-umbellate, branched 2–4 times, the branches tomentose, without a whorl of bracts about midlength; involucral tubes 4–6 mm long, the lobes 3–5 mm long; flowers 7–10 (12) mm long, the perianth bright yellow.
Flowering Jun-Sep. Serpentine flats and slopes, oak and conifer woodlands; 100–800 m; Humboldt and Trinity cos., California.
All the pictures of Eriogonum umbellatum var. speciosum, presented here, have been taken close to Red Butte, on the California/Oregon border, on July 25 th 2014, at 1800 m of altitude. I questioned Jim Reveal about that population: the blades of the bigger leaves are 28-29 mm long by 18-19 mm wide; the crown of foliaceous bracts is huge: 3 big bracts and 3 small ones; the foliaceous bracts at one third of the stem are also very big (28 mm long by 18 mm wide) and there may be 1 or 2 of them. Jim thought it could be Eriogonum umbellatum var. speciosum. This variety had already been spotted in September 1923 by Elmer I. Applegate near the head of Dogget Creek, on the south slope of the Siskiyou Mountains.