A new species, Eriastrum signatum D. Gowen, is described for most plants previously identified as E. sparsiflorum, and a new combination, E. harwoodii (T. T. Craig) D. Gowen, is proposed for densely woolly plants having apiculate corolla lobes found in the eastern Mojave Desert. Additionally, both E. sparsiflorum and E. tracyi are discussed, and a key to Eriastrum with small stamens is provided.
Eriastrum sparsiflorum is a minutely glandular-pubescent annual plant limited to small areas in the southern Sierra Nevada, and along the eastern base of the Sierra in California and western Nevada. Eriastrum sparsiflorum has been misapplied to Eriastrum signatum and E. tracyi. Eriastrum signatum ranges from Oregon to southern California and western Nevada, and differs from E. sparsiflorum by having a dark maroon colored spot at the base of the corolla lobes and lacking glandular hairs. Eriastrum tracyi, which is presently placed in synonomy under E. brandegeeae, warrants recognition as a distinct taxon. It occurs on coastal ranges of California, the western edge of the Modoc Plateau in northeastern Shasta County, as well as the southwestern Sierra Nevada.