Snow buckwheat is conspicuous because it flowers in late summer when other plants in its rocky habitat are dormant. Sometimes it grows so abundantly that the landscape appears dusted with snow. Snow buckwheat grows in clumps up to sixteen inches tall and wide. The crown gives rise to numerous short woody stems.
The parsnip-flower buckwheat is a long-lived plant with woody stems that branch at the base and small, narrow, densely hairy or woolly basal leaves. It grows in clumps about two feet broad and sixteen inches high. Small white or yellow flowers form dense single or multiple umbrella-like clusters at the end of the upright, nearly leafless stems.
Buckwheats have branched stems one to three feet tall, and large, three to six inch, densely hairy, leathery basal leaves. The flowers, individually very small, form dense single or multiple umbrella-like clusters, called umbels, at the end of the upright, nearly leafless stems. Each small flower has three sepals and three petals.