Pheatured Plant - Meet the Eriogonums

There’s a whole lot to like and much to choose from in planting Buckwheat. Many like sun, heat and are very drought tolerant. Some particular favorites include “Rosy Buckwheat” and  Eriogonum fasciculatum aka “California Buckwheat."

eriogonums in bloom

Eriogonum grande var. rubescens: “Red Buckwheat” or “Rosy Buckwheat” is reminiscent of “Rosy the Riveter”  - which is to say, it’s tough, and very useful, as well as pretty.  Rosy is on the small side for a buckwheat; about 1 to 2 ft. tall and wide with a mounding habit.. Its adorable red pompons are in flower throughout  the summer, and it provides some winter color as well, with the leaves taking on a reddish tone. Red buckwheat needs very little water after its initial settling in period and grows well in full sun by the coast and with a little shade inland.
Does it have additional excellent qualities? Yes, it does…it grows well in containers, likes well drained soil but does fine in clay soil, is pretty tolerant of cold down to 15 degrees F…and butterflies, birds and bees love it.     Well, why wouldn’t they, really?

Eriogonum fasciculatum: “California Buckwheat” needs very little care, is drought tolerant and goes on blooming, from late spring through summer into the fall. At PHIG it is located in the dry garden with no additional summer watering. The profusion of flower clusters are cream to white in color; the blooms eventually fade into a rusty shade in the fall. California buckwheat can grow up to 3' to 4’ tall and as wide. Of the varieties, Eriogonum fasciculatum foliolosum  tends to be a bit taller, with darker leaves. Since it’s a well liked native plant, a number of cultivars (Theodore Payne, Dana Point and Warriner Lytle) have also been developed that are lower to the ground and work well as ground covers.
As one writer from Annie’s Annuals noted, “There's almost no part of the plant that isn't desirable to some creature or another.” Birds like the seeds, bees love the nectar, and the Mormon Metalmark, Gray Hairstreak, Green Hairstreak and Blue Copper butterflies all regard it as a terrific host plant.

Previous Pheatured Plants

California Fuchsia
California Lilac
Deer Grass
Western Redbud


PHIG (Pleasant Hill Instructional Garden)
P.O.Box 23454, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
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Tax-exempt 501 (c)(3)  Pictures courtesy of Monika Olsen

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