This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Life After Lawn” series – 45 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region and ideal for drought-tolerant landscapes.
Santa Cruz Island buckwheat
Size: Up to 4 feet tall by 5 feet wide at maturity; grows larger in rich soils.
Bloom season: Creamy pink flat-top clusters are heavily produced in spring and summer.
Exposure: Full sun.
Pruning needs: None needed, but can prune to shape if denser form is desired.
Water needs: Very low; only needs a few deep irrigations in summer once established.
Snapshot: Want to add some wildlife to your low-water garden? This buckwheat will bring a fascinating array of beneficial insects and pollinators to your landscape. This attractive California native features narrow gray leaves and produces large flat-topped clusters of whitish-pink flowers in spring and summer. In late summer and fall, seed heads form attractive bronze-colored clusters that look good in dried arrangements. Needing very little summer water, this plant is a great cover for banks or slopes.
For more on “Life After Lawn,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.