Santa Cruz Island buckwheat

Eriogonum arborescens


The Santa Cruz Island buckwheat grows into a mounding evergreen shrub reaching 3-4 ft. tall, 5-6 ft. wide. Pale gray-green leaves are narrow in width and attached in whorl-like clusters at the ends of branches. Soft pink to rose flowers occur from early spring into summer and then age into attractive reddish-brown seed heads by fall. This species comes from slopes and canyon walls of several of the Channel islands of California.

The Santa Cruz Island buckwheat is a member of the coastal sage and chaparral plant communities on coastal islands where it grows in poor soils, sunny exposures and with summer drought stress. It has attractive foliage, flower and seed character that makes it well suited to native plantings in the Inland Empire around the perimeter of coast live oak trees, and with other natives. As plants age they can be lightly pruned to reveal interesting branching character and can serve as a small rock garden specimen. This species easily reseeds in garden settings.

Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Mounding
Growth Rate: Moderate
Foliage Color: Pale green
Flower Color: Pink
Flower Season: Summer, Spring
Soil Adaptations: Calcareous soil
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Fog, Drought, Coastal salt air, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Slopes, Rock gardens, Flowering accent plant, Banks, Attracts butterflies
Height: 3 ft. – 4 ft.
Width: 5 ft. – 6 ft.