Plants herbs, matted, scapose, 0.3–0.5 (0.7) dm tall, (0.5) 1–4 (20) dm across, floccose to tomentose, greenish or grayish; stems matted, sometimes only seemingly so, with persistent leaf bases, up to 1/5 height of plant, the caudex stems matted, the aerial flowering stems absent or scapelike, erect or nearly so, slender, solid, not fistulose, (0.05) 0.1–0.3 dm long, floccose to tomentose; leaves basal, fasciculate in terminal tufts, the petioles 0.2–0.5 cm long, tomentose to floccose, the blades oblanceolate to elliptic or spatulate, (0.2) 0.3–0.8 (1.2) cm long, 0.2–0.4 (0.6) cm wide, tomentose to floccose, the margins plane or slightly thickened; inflorescences capitate, 0.8–2 cm long, the branches absent, the bracts 3–5, scalelike, linear to linear-lanceolate, 1.5–4 mm long, 0.6–1 mm wide; peduncles absent; involucres 2–4 (6) per cluster, campanulate, (2) 2.5–5 (6) mm long, 3–6 (7) mm wide, rigid, tomentose, the teeth 5–10, erect to spreading, (0.5) 1–3 mm long; flowers 2.5–4 mm long, the perianth white to rose or yellow, densely pilose, the hypanthium only at base of perianth, the tepals monomorphic, oblong to obovate, the stamens exserted, 2.5–5 mm long, the filaments subglabrous or sparsely pilose proximally; achenes light brown to brown, 2.5–3 mm long, tomentose.
- Involucral lobes 0.5–1.5 mm long; Great Basin and Snake River Plains : Eriogonum shockleyi var. shockleyi
- Involucral lobes 1.5–3 mm long; n Arizona and Colorado Plateau : Eriogonum shockleyi var. longilobum
Eriogonum shockleyi var. shockleyi: Leaf blades elliptic, 0.3–0.6 cm long, 0.3–0.5 cm wide, the aerial flowering stems absent or scapelike, (0) 0.5– 2 cm long; involucral lobes 0.5–1.5 (2) mm long, erect or nearly; flowers 2.5–4 mm long.
Flowering May-Aug. Common and widespread on gravelly or clayey (rarely sandy) flats, washes and slopes in mixed grasslands, saltbush, blackbrush and sagebrush communities, and in pinyon-juniper woodlands; (830) 1200–2600 m.