It’s July in California! All the annual wildflowers that had covered the Southern Chaparral have gone to seed. Driving on the road, you get that mid-summer feel as your view is dominated by largely grey-brown scrub, except for this one native beauty: California Buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum). This plant brings delight to gardeners on hot summer days, dedicating its beautiful blooms that normally start out white in May and turn to bronze when September comes.
Not only does the Buckwheat contribute eye-catching colors to your summer garden, but it also adds great ecological benefits. Some of its values include nectar and pollen for bees, seeds for small birds, and shelter for tiny creatures like the lizards. Keep in mind, Buckwheat is an essential and reliable food source for bees and butterflies during the chaparral’s summertime when other blooms are no longer available. Buckwheat also attracts many beneficial insects and insect predators. Plant a California Buckwheat and your garden will be partially “immune” from the malicious non-native insect intruders.
Speaking of maintenance, California Buckwheat is among the easiest plants to take care of. In nature, it grows on rocky hillsides where its deep roots provide excellent erosion control. Therefore, as a gardener, you will barely need to spend time watering the buckwheat since it loves the sun and favors a dry living site. It’s truly drought-tolerant and evergreen, requiring almost no water once established, yet blooms throughout the summer and keeps your garden colorful.
California Buckwheat is also very “friendly” when it comes to getting along with other drought-tolerant native and non-native plants. It will grow alongside monkeyflowers, Manzanita, wooly blue curls, sage, succulents, and more. If you’re interested in making color arrangements for your garden this summer, California Buckwheat will most likely to go well with your pairings!
Check out our California Buckwheat TODAY at the Middlebrook Center’s Native Plant Nursery, located at 76 Race Street, San Jose, CA 95126.
We’re looking forward to your visit!
“Eriogonum fasciculatum” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 12 April 2009. Web. 7 July 2015