Frequently Asked Questions

Can I still get a free buckwheat plant?

A Buckwheat in Every Garden giveaway ended on June 1, 2020. However, you can always purchase a ‘Dana Point’ buckwheat plant at Tree of Life Nursery in San Juan Capistrano. Check their web sites for business hours and availability.

Close-up of buckwheat blossoms in spring 2020. (Elizabeth Wallace)

What was the goal of this campaign?

The California Native Plant Society, Orange County (OCCNPS) chapter created A Buckwheat in Every Garden to distribute California ‘Dana Point’ buckwheat plants to Orange County homeowners. The goal of the campaign was to give away starter buckwheat plants to help Orange County homeowners improve wildlife and habitat value in their home landscapes.

Buckwheats ready to be given away. (Maryanne Mayada)

Who cultivated the buckwheat plants for the campaign?

Cultivation of the ‘Dana Point’ buckwheat plants began last summer by Tree of Life Nursery. Mike Evans, owner of Tree of Life Nursery, found the ‘Dana Point’ buckwheat at the Dana Point Headlands and selected it for cultivation because it showed a smaller, more compact growth habit than the California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum).

Buckwheat in a home garden setting just before blooming begins in late spring. (Kris Ethington)

How were the plants distributed?

OCCNPS partnered with cities, garden clubs, and nonprofit groups to distribute buckwheat plants to homeowners throughout Orange County.

‘Dana Point’ buckwheats wait for a new home in Orange. (Thea Gavin)

How many plants were distributed?

OCCNPS distributed 2,000 buckwheat plants to homeowners throughout Orange County.

OCCNPS’s original goal was to distribute 1,500 buckwheat plants to Orange County homeowners, but demand was so high that the goal was increased to 2,000 buckwheat plants. Buckwheat distribution was scheduled to continue through April 2020, but April events were cancelled due to Coronavirus precautions. Tree of Life Nursery and Roger’s Gardens distributed remaining plants through June 1, 2020.

California buckwheats are in high demand at Acorn Day in O’Neill Park.

Who paid for this campaign?

OCCNPS is a 501(c)(3) California non-profit organization. A Buckwheat in Every Garden was funded by our small treasury, and was operated with all volunteer labor.

Were the buckwheat plants free to homeowners?

The buckwheat plants were given away in exchange for the homeowner’s street and city. OCCNPS mapped the plants as they were installed on an iNaturalist map. You can see the plants at the A Buckwheat in Every Garden iNaturalist page.

iNaturalist Buckwheat map showing 1,376 plants distributed throughout Orange County.

How many buckwheat giveaway events were completed?

Completed BIEG events are listed below:

  1. October 5:  Acorn Day, O’Neill Regional Park, Trabuco Canyon, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 96 plants distributed.
  2. October 12:  Laguna Beach Smart Scape Expo 2019, 306 Third Street, Laguna Beach, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., 64 plants distributed.
  3. October 17:  OCCNPS General Meeting, Duck Club, Irvine, 7 p.m., 78 plants distributed.
  4. October 18:  Sea & Sage Audobon, Duck Club, Irvine, 7 p.m., 16 plants distributed.
  5. October 19: Orange Home Grown Education Farm, 356 N. Lemon St., Orange, 10 a.m. to noon., 48 plants distributed. Thea Gavin planted a two-gallon ‘Dana Point’ buckwheat on site and made a presentation about how buckwheat helps increase pollinators for fruit trees.
  6. October 22-24: Roger’s Gardens, 2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd., Corona del Mar, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 160 plants distributed.
  7. October 26: Tree of Life Nursery, 33201 CA-74 on Ortega Hgwy., San Juan Capistrano, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., 87 plants distributed.
  8. October 29: H2O for HOA’s, Laguna Niguel Water District, Laguna Hills Community Center, 8 a.m. to noon, 16 plants distributed.
  9. November 1-3: Roger’s Gardens, 2301 San Joaquin Hils Rd., Corona del Mar, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 240 plants distributed.
  10. November 1: Fullerton Arboretum, Fullerton, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., 96 plants distributed.
  11. November 6: San Clemente Garden Club, St. Andrews Church, 2001 Calle Frontera, San Clemente, 1 p.m., 86 plants distributed. OCCNPS Chapter President Brad Jenkins spoke about integrating wild land plants into your garden.
  12. November 8: Laguna Beach Garden Club, 415 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach, 9:30 to noon., 16 plants distributed.
  13. November 8: Sherman’s Gardens Lunch and Learn, Corona del Mar, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 48 plants distributed.
  14. November 10: St. Mark Presbyterian Church, 2200 San Joaquin Hills Rd., Corona del Mar, 9 a.m., 48 plants distributed.
  15. November 15: City of Dana Point, DP Community Center, 34052 Del Obispo, Dana Point, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., 215 plants distributed. Representatives from the Friends of the Dana Point Headlands (where this buckwheat originated), Doheny State Beach, and San Onofre State Beach all helped promote and hand out buckwheats at this fun OCCNPS event.
  16. December 7: Shipley Nature Center, 17851 Goldenwest Street, Huntington Beach, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 70 plants distributed.
  17. January 11, 2020: OCCNPS Vice President Ron Vanderhoff spoke at the Orange County Master Gardeners meeting in Irvine, California. Sixty-five ‘Dana Point’ buckwheat plants were given away at this event.
  18. January 14-17: Roger’s Gardens , 2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd., Corona del Mar, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 100 plants were distributed.
  19. January 20: San Juan Capistrano Garden Club, San Juan Capistrano, 9:30 a.m. to noon. 96 plants were distributed.
  20. February 11: Orange County Organic Garden Club, Santa Ana. 16 plants were distributed.
  21. February 20: Orange Coast College Sustainability Fair, Costa Mesa. 96 plants were distributed.
  22. March 12: Arbor Day Celebration, Laguna Beach, CA. Cancelled.

Buckwheat getting ready to bloom in the early spring. (E. Wallace)

Thank you to everyone who participated in A Buckwheat in Every Garden. We enjoyed meeting everyone, and working together to make our world a little better for butterflies, birds, and pollinators in Orange County. Stay tuned for our next fun project (after the Corona virus is under control) to help improve habitat value in the landscape in the OC.

(K. Ethington)

11 thoughts on “Frequently Asked Questions

  1. thank you thank you thank you from an anonymous citizen who’s heart aches every time he sees a dead bee on the ground. thank you.

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  2. I’ve read that it’s NOT recommended planting buckwheat within 5 miles of the ocean because that was not part of its original habitat. Is that true?

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    • Hi! Thank you for asking this question. California buckwheat grows in nature along the coast. The ‘Dana Point’ California buckwheat that the Orange County Chapter of the California Native Plant Society (OCCNPS) is giving away, is a selection of buckwheat growing near the coast at the Dana Point Headlands. It is safe and helpful to plant buckwheat within 5 miles of the coast. If you go to http://www.Calscape.org and type Eriogonum fasciculatum into the search engine, you will see a solid coastline mapped with California buckwheat.

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  3. BV. I think you might confusing milkweed (Asclepias) with CA buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum). It’s milkweed that some experts suggest not planting along the coast.

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    • Hi Dora, Thanks for your question. Renters can definitely participate in this program, especially if they have a cooperative landlord. As long as you have the space for a plant that grows three feet wide, you can have a buckwheat to install.

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