January 27, 2016

Dunes in Bloom: Dune Buckwheat

dune buckwheat banner

Common Name(s): Dune Buckwheat, Coast Buckwheat, Cliff Buckwheat, Seacliff Buckwheat

Scientific Name: Eriogonum parvifolium

Family: Buckwheat Family- Polygonaceae

Plant Type: Dicot

Size:  1-2' tall, sprawls to 4' wide

Appearance: This evergreen plant has small but thick rounded leaves that are sometimes folder under, giving it a triangular appearance.  Foliage is green with a reddish tinge and its' flowers are white to pinkish or yellowish-green.

This shrub is drought resistant, thrives in full sunlight and flowers in the spring.

The honey produced by bees that feed on Buckwheat nectar is among the most delicious and strongly flavored honey varieties, and is the color of deep purple.

Dune Buckwheat is endemic to California and grows in the coastal areas of the central and southern parts of the state. It is an important host and nectar plants for butterflies and moths, and a bonanza for bees and other pollinators looking for food.  Because of the plants host relationship to so many insects, it has been the subject of numerous restoration programs throughout California.

Do you have pictures or anecdotes of Dune Buckwheat that you would like to share? Please let us know in the comments section below, or submit your photos to [email protected].


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