North California, far northwest Nevada and most of Oregon
Open, mountainous locations, often sandy; 3,600 to 10,100 feet
Ovate to round, up to 1.2 inches long and 0.4 inches across
Eriogonum marifolium is found in the northern Sierra Nevada, the Klamath Mountains, the Cascade Range and other adjacent hilly areas. Like many eriogonum species, plants form mats, with many leaves and stems. The bright green leaves are generally hairless on the upper surface, but covered by tomentose hairs on the lower surface. They are attached via stalks a little shorter than the blade.
Plants produce either staminate flowers (yellow), or pistillate flowers (yellow or red). Pistillate flowers are around twice as large (a quarter of an inch vs. an eighth of an inch). Both types of flowers are arranged in spherical clusters, held well above the leaves at the tips of the branched stalks. The base of the inflorescence is subtended by a whorl of narrow bracts.
Var cupulatum has narrow leaves and larger involucres (up to a quarter of an inch wide), while the more widespread var marifolium has wider leaves and much smaller involucres.