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Ashyleaf buckwheat is a dense evergreen shrub mounding 4-5 ft. tall and to 6 ft. wide. Foliage is comprised of small leaves that are 1 in. long, medium green above and very white below. Attractive owers are light pink and occur in numerous ball-like clusters above the foliage from late spring through summer. Ashyleaf buckwheat is common to exposed bluffs and coastal foothills in coastal strand and coastal sage scrub communities, from Los Angeles to Monterey County. It tolerates salt spray, wind and well-drained soils.

This colorful species is highly suited for planting on slopes and in mixed California native plantings for restoration and wildlife value. When planted in the Inland Empire, it shows good adaptability to full sun and low amounts of summer water. This plant provides soft foliage and flowering character and easily hugs boulders and flows over banks.

Water Needs

Ashyleaf buckwheat is highly adapted to sunny garden locations on well drained soils and with low amounts of supplemental water during summer. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months indicated by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water; more water in the spring will result in a longer flowering season.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 1

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Mounding, Dense
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 4 ft. - 5 ft.
Width: 4 ft. - 6 ft.
Water Needs: Low 1
Foliage Color: Gray green
Flower Color: Pink
Flower Season: Summer, Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Sand, Clay
Exposure Adaptations: Wind, Heat, Drought, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Restoration, Raised planters, California native, Borders, Banks, Attracts butterflies


Generally, little maintenance is necessary. To control size, cut back as much of the new-ish growth as desired while not in flower (April-ish). Do not prune in late spring as you will remove forming buds which will form this season's blooms. After flowering, leave spent flowers to dry into red / brown clusters. This is part of the desired look of native buckwheats. The seeds develop into valuable wildlife food and help shade the plant in the summer heat (1). "Deadheading" buckwheats would be tedious and time consuming and would take away much of what there is to love about this plant. Keep things easy and don't worry about it (S). If desired, remove dried seed heads beginning in mid-September and into the fall (1). Older plants that look like they need refreshing can be cut back hard into older wood in November. Expect new growth to emerge within a few weeks (1). If desired, they can also be lightly headed back in fall just to clean up form and encourage denser growth (7).



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