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Arboretum Spotlight: Sulphur buckwheat is a butterfly magnet

Sulphur buckwheat features very bright yellow flowers, a favorite for butterflies, bees and beneficial insects.
Sulphur buckwheat features very bright yellow flowers, a favorite for butterflies, bees and beneficial insects.

This is one part in a 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.

Sulphur buckwheat

Eriogonum umbellatum var. umbellatum

Size: Clumps to 1 foot high and 3 feet wide.

Bloom season: Yellow to creamy flowers in summer.

Exposure: Full to partial sun.

Pruning needs: None except to shape as desired.

Water needs: Low water use; once established, irrigate deeply twice a month.

Snapshot: This small evergreen shrub looks great in the front of a California native plant garden with cute spoon-shaped leaves and bright yellow flowers. Buckwheats are highly recommended for wildlife value, especially butterflies. Bees and other beneficial insects find those vibrant blooms hard to resist.

For more on “40 Plants,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.

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