Image Gallery


Description

Cliff buckwheat is a small evergreen shrub growing to 2 ft. tall and 3 ft. wide. It naturally occurs along the coastal buffs and foothills in sunny exposures in the sage scrub and chaparral plant communities. During early spring, this species produces an intensive display of light pink flowers that cover the plant in a highly attractive manner. These flowers mature to various shades of brown with longer days and with more sun and heat of spring and summer that results in depleted soil moisture.

This species offers great usefulness on slopes, in native gardens, for birds and butterflies. It provides a long season of flower and seed head interest and brings attention to a group of plants that is often overlooked. It grows well in full sun, with good drainage and low amounts of supplemental water during the summer in all parts of the Inland Empire.

Water Needs

Cliff buckwheat grows well in Inland empire gardens in areas of full sun and with normal rainfall and low amounts of summer water. 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 and you should make irrigation adjustments based of field observations of growth and character. Understory leaf litter should be allowed to dry out in between summer waterings to avoid excessive growth and disease problems.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  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 to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 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" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

 
0"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, click here.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Shrub
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Mounding, Compact
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 2 ft.
Width: 3 ft.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Pale green
Flower Color: Pink
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Sand
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Drought, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Slopes, Rock gardens, Raised planters, Hummingbird plant, Grouped, Flowering accent plant, Container plant, California native, Borders, Banks, Attracts butterflies, Small spaces

Maintenance

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)

References

Associations

Plant Lists