Eriogonum grande rubescens ‘Red Buckwheat’ (CA Native)
It’s still summer and we’re dreaming about islands - island natives, that is! This perennial buckwheat is also called ‘San Miguel Island Buckwheat’ because it is endemic to San Miguel, Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Islands, all part of the Channel Islands off the coast of southern California. You’ll find them nestled amongst chapparal and coastal sage communities. It’s considered a small evergreen sub-shrub that can grow up to 1’ tall. The spoon-shaped leaves are a glossy dark green on the upper surface and wooly pale color underneath. It’s a mat-forming plant that keeps a compact, petite form. ‘Red Buckwheat’ has a reputation of having one of the showiest flowers of the smaller buckwheats. In late spring through fall (June through October), beautiful pom-pom clusters of pink and red flowers blossom on a 2’ tall branching inflorescence. Here at the nursery, we’re loving the show of buds just breaking into bloom!
A happy bee on a flower bud! (pictured above)
A lovely peek at the foliage - glossy green on top and wooly beneath! (pictured above)
Plant in full sun in sandy or clay soil with little irrigation. Though it’s an island plant, it will still perform well inland if given some afternoon shade and a little extra water. Deadhead the old blooms to stimulate new flower growth. Hardy to 15°F.
‘Red Buckwheat’ will look great in borders and containers. It’s excellent for rock gardens or in the understory of larger plants. When in bloom, this native attracts birds, bees and butterflies. In fact, it’s considered a very important plant for butterflies and is one of the pillars in their plant communities. Best of all, this native has very low water requirements! An excellent choice for any home garden.
We are currently growing Eriogonum grande rubescens in 4.5” rounds and gallon containers.