Scientific Name

Eriogonum elongatum

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You’d be hard pressed to recognize Longstem Buckwheat as a member of the Eriogonum family in the spring. Instead of the more familiar, hard and spiky, needle-ish leaves characteristic of most California buckwheats, Eriogonum elongatum’s leaves are broad, soft and fleshy. Then there are those white, snaky “longstems” that emerge in late spring and summer, reaching up and out as if they’re about to grab something. It isn’t until the late summer, when the flower buds along these stems start to bloom, that it actually looks like a buckwheat, with tiny, pearlescent cream-to-pale pink flowers clustered in small, spherical clumps.

And it is those flowers that are, perhaps, the best reason to include this under-appreciated habitat plant in your garden. Long after the other Eriogonum species in your garden have finished flowering, Longstem Buckwheat will just be getting started. It’ll reliably supply a wide range of pollinators with sustenance from late summer through the end of fall – even into the beginning of winter – when they need it most.

Longstem Buckewheat is happiest in punishingly hot, full sun exposures and dry, rocky soil. Don’t bother watering it after it’s established. Just cut it back after flowering in late fall (if you can wait that long) to about 6-9” stubs. With a little rain or supplemental water, it’ll quickly respond with a flush of new leaves, starting the whole intriguing cycle over again.

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Bitter Gooseberry

Ribes amarum


Blue Dicks

Dipterostemon (Dichelostemma) capitatus

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Blue Elderberry

Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea

Blue Wildrye

Elymus glaucus

Branching Phacelia

Phacelia ramosissima

Brickell Bush

Brickellia californica

California Aster

Corethrogyne filaginifolia

California Aster

Corethrogyne filaginifolia

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California Four O’Clock

Mirabilis laevis var. crassifolia

California Fuchsia

Epilobium canum ssp. canum

California Prickly Phlox

Linanthus californicus

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Canyon Dudleya

Dudleya cymosa

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Cardinal Catchfly

Silene laciniata

Caterpillar Phacelia

Phacelia cicutaria

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Coast Live Oak

Quercus agrifolia

Coast Prickly Pear

Opuntia littoralis

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Frangula californica

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Fiesta Flower

Pholistoma auritum

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Fuchsiaflower Gooseberry

Ribes speciosum

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Hollyleaf Redberry

Rhamnus ilicifolia

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Mountain Mahogany

Cercocarpus betuloides

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Poison Oak

Toxicodendron diversilobum

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Punch Bowl Godetia

Clarkia bottae


Claytonia perfoliata

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Round Leafed Boykinia

Boykinia rotundifolia

Sacred Datura

Datura wrightii

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Santa Barbara Honeysuckle

Lonicera subspicata var. denudata

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Saw-Toothed Goldenbush

Hazardia squarrosa var. grindelioides

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Scarlet Larkspur

Delphinium cardinale

Silver Puffs

Uropappus lindleyi

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Soap Plant

Chloroglaum pomeridianum

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Southern Bush Monkeyflower

Diplacus longiflorus

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Southern California Black Walnut

Juglans californica

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Spotted Humboldt’s Lily

Lilium humboldtii ssp. ocellatum


Helianthus annuus

Threadleaf Ragwort

Senecio flaccidus

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Heteromeles arbutifolia

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Western Columbine

Aquilegia formosa

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Western Wallflower

Erysimum capitatum

Wild Heliotrope