This is one part in a new weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “40 Plants You (Probably) Have Never Heard of – But Will Love,” 40 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region but hard to find.
Dwarf California buckwheat
Eriogonum fasciculatum “Theodore Payne”
Size: Ground cover; forms clumps 6 inches high and 6 to 7 feet wide.
Exposure: Full sun.
Bloom season: White flowers with pink cast throughout summer.
Pruning needs: Little to none; prune to shape as desired.
Water needs: Very low; once established, irrigate deeply once a month.
Snapshot: This pretty California native likes to lie low, spread out and make itself at home. Instead of growing up, dwarf California buckwheat forms an evergreen ground cover of needlelike foliage. With leaves of light apple green, this buckwheat is fast growing and deer resistant. Besides filling space, it creates valuable habitat for wildlife in your garden. With a slightly pink hue, the clusters of little white flowers attract butterflies and other beneficial insects such as native bees. After bloom, the buckwheat seeds will provide a snack for visiting birds. The best part? This native needs little irrigation once established, making it a great choice for a low-water landscape.
▪ For more on 40 Plants, click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.