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Summer months in the Regional Parks Botanic Garden are an excellent time to view the richness and diversity of California's native buckwheats (Eriogonum species). Just as buckwheats can be found in almost every plant community throughout the state, they can be found in almost every section of the Garden. The dense assemblage of small flowers range in colors from creamy white to soft pink; bold reds or glowing yellows. Foliage size and color range from soft, grey oval leaves, to large, nearly white linear leaves, or tiny, green needlelike leaves. Buckwheats are not only revered for the ornamental significance, but also valued for the ability to provide sustenance for birds, bees and butterflies, and shelter for countless small animals.
Look for these buckwheats throughout the garden:
Santa Cruz Island buckwheat (E. arborescens)
Conejo buckwheat (E. crocatum)
Santa Catalina Island buckwheat (E. giganteum var. giganteum)
California buckwheat (E. fasciculatum)
Coast buckwheat (E. latifolium)
Parish's buckwheat (Eriogonum parishii)
Sulfur flower buckwheat (E. umbellatum)
Other spectacular plants in bloom (that are not buckwheats):
White-stemmed clarkia (Clarkia gracilis ssp. albicaulis)
Vine Hill clarkia (C. imbricata)
Fort Miller clarkia (C. williamsonii)
Bluff lettuce (Dudleya farinosa)
Diffuse daisy (Erigeron divergens)
Heartleaf keckiella (Keckiella cordifolia)
Bush monkey flower (Mimulus aurantiacus)
Willowy monardella (Monardella viminea)
Mountain coyote mint (M. odoratissima)
Hooker's evening primrose (Oenothera elata ssp. hirsutissma)
California goldenrod (Solidago velutina ssp. californica)
Canada goldenrod (S. Canadensis)
Showy goldenrod (S. specatabilis)
--by Ashika Narayan, July 18, 2014
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