Herbs, erect, annual, (1.5-)2-4 dm, glabrous, greenish to grayish. Stems: caudex absent; aerial flowering stems erect, solid, not fistulose, 0.3-2 dm, glabrous. Leaves basal; petiole 1-3(-5) cm, floccose; blade cordate to orbiculate, (0.5-)1-3 × (0.5-)1-3 cm, densely white-tomentose abaxially, less so to subglabrous and grayish to greenish adaxially, margins entire. Inflorescences cymose, diffuse, of many horizontal tiers of flat-topped branches, 10-35 × 5-35 cm; branches glabrous; bracts 3, scalelike, 1-3 × 0.5-1.5 mm. Peduncles absent. Involucres deflexed, narrowly campanulate, 1-1.5 × 1.5-2 mm, glabrous; teeth 5, erect, 0.4-0.7 mm. Flowers 1.3-1.5 mm; perianth white with greenish midribs, becoming reddish, glabrous; tepals dimorphic, those of outer whorl narrowly oval to cordate, those of inner whorl narrowly lanceolate; stamens included, 1-1.3 mm; filaments glabrous. Achenes dark brown, lenticular, 1.3-1.5 mm, glabrous. 2n = 40. Flowering Jun-Dec. Sandy to gravelly washes and slopes, saltbush communities; of conservation concern; (30-)100-1600 m; Calif., Nev. Eriogonum rixfordii is occasional in the Death Valley area of Inyo County, California, and adjacent southwestern Nye County, Nevada. Its habit is so striking that it is often collected as a novelty. It is rarely common and never weedy.