About

Buckwheat Brings Butterflies is a forum to discuss gardening with California native plants. I live in Southern California and I have always been passionate about gardening with plants that make their home in the California wild.

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Flowering chalk dudleya

When we bring nature into our gardens, we support a bounty of butterflies, birds, pollinators and local wildlife. I have watched deer fight over acorns that have fallen from my Coast Live Oak tree. I have admired a roadrunner passing by my window with a lizard in his mouth.
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Mourning Cloak butterfly rests for a moment on my shirt sleeve.

The mourning cloak butterfly pictured in the image above chased away two Western Monarchs repeatedly as they tried to nectar on a nearby coffee berry bush. The butterfly even tried to chase me away, but I held my ground.

This year in California we had abundant rain that created a super bloom of poppies and other wildflowers. My own garden responded to the rain with blossoms galore. I wondered why we drive all the way to Lake Elsinore to see the super bloom when we can have a superbloom in our own backyard?

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Western Redbud and California lilac in full bloom.

Let’s explore the world of California native plants together. If you have native plants in your yard, feel free to tell me your stories. Share your observations with me, your successes and failures. Let’s all learn together.

I also love to draw and paint.  Much of my subject matter focuses on California flora and fauna. You can see examples of my work at:  www.etwallace.com

2 thoughts on “About

  1. I live in Wildomar, kind of out in the country. I pulled up a buckwheat plant from a field and planted it in my very large yard. It seems to be very invasive. I don’t mind a few plants, but I don’t want it all over my yard!

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    • Hi Karen, Thanks for your comment. Black mustard (Brassica nigra from N. Africa, Asia and Europe) fits the definition of an invasive species: a plant that will invade, establish and perpetuate itself in a wild land environment. Buckwheat, on the other hand, is a native to California, and yes it is a hardy plant that grows well in a garden environment.

      The California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum) growing my yard creates its own mulch, then sets down roots to grow in the mulch. I find it easy to contain my buckwheat to a small area in my yard by reducing the amount of supplemental water it receives, and by cutting it back once a year in late fall. I have another buckwheat plant on a small hillside that hasn’t grown much for five years and never needs pruning.

      It sounds like your buckwheat plant has ideal conditions for growth in your yard! Have you pruned it? Have you tried pulling up the roots the buckwheat sends out to grow in its mulch? I have done this too in years past.

      I also wanted to add that the ‘Dana Point’ buckwheat that OCCNPS is giving away as part of its Buckwheat in Every Garden campaign is a smaller plant, selected because it generally grows from one- to three-feet wide, making it quite compatible with most people’s gardens.

      Write back and let me know how you take care of the buckwheat you planted. It is interesting to hear your experience.

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