The delicate beauty, Nude Buckwheat, has a wide range of uses. Its thin stemmed 2-3 foot tall flower stalks are an asset in garden design and in cut flower arrangements. Few natives are as excellent a source of nectar for bees and butterflies as buckwheats. The indigenous peoples use this plant for food, tools, and children’s games.
This widely distributed species is known for its elegant flower displays on naked stems above low mounds of grey-green leaves. Consider planting in a drift or mass of 5 or more plants for a striking visual effect and a larger food source for butterflies. Naked Buckwheat is a host and nectar plant for blue, hairstreak, metal marks, and many other butterflies. Naked buckwheat has flower pom-poms ranging in color from white to pink set on slender stems in open clusters up to twelve inches wide and blooms from late spring into early autumn.
Nude Buckwheat prefers well-drained soils and full sun to part shade. It needs no supplemental water in the summer once established. This native is available in many native plant nurseries or can be grown from seed. When growing from seed, sow in the fall or cold stratify for 90 days prior to planting in the spring. This plant grows slowly in its first year and reducing completion from weeds is important. Naked Buckwheat continues growing in the heat of summer and even now, in late October, this slender beauty has fresh blooms. This is a very low water use plant and needs a minimum of care. It thrives in our hot summers in fast-draining soils without organic mulch. Pairing it with other California native plants which need very little summer water such as sages, fuchsia, and mule fat will enhance your deer-resistant, butterfly, bird rock, or bee garden.
More information on this plant can be found at calscape.org by searching for the plant by name.
The following are just five of the plants which you can see blooming this month in a quarter-mile walk along the Tule River Parkway between Jaye Street and Parkway Drive.
1. Nude Buckwheat (Eriogonum Nudum)
2. Desert Marigold (Baileya multiradiata)
3. Deer Grass (Mulhenbergia rigens)
4. Common Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
5. California Fuchsia (Epilobium sp.)
Many California native plants are available at Quercus Landscape Design in Springville https://quercuslandscapedesign.com/availability, Dry Creek Nursery 35220 Dry Creek Dr, Woodlake, CA 93286 Call: 559-738-0211x115, Luis’ Nursery 139 S Mariposa Ave, Visalia, and Alta Vista Nursery in Three Rivers which is open by appointment 559-799- 7438.
Each of the Native Plant Demonstration Gardens is featured on the website tuleriverparkwayassociation.org
The Tule River Parkway is a City of Porterville public park which provides a three-mile paved walking and bicycle path. The gardens were planted and maintained by volunteers with project management by the Tule River Parkway Association. We have volunteer garden days each month. During November we welcome you to come out and volunteer on November 12, 17, and 19 in the morning. Contact Cathy Capone if you are interested in scheduling a volunteer service day for a group. This planting season volunteers will add over a hundred new plants to the gardens and restoration areas. Follow Tule River Parkway Association on Facebook or our website for announcements. Volunteers are welcome to join us to care for the gardens. Cathy Capone the volunteer project manager can be reached at 559-361-9164.
Submitted 10-26-2022 by Cathy Capone. Photos by Cathy Capone