Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Plant of the Week: St. Catherine's Lace

This is hands-down one of my favorite plants. Buckwheats just magically make everything so much nicer and Eriogonum giganteum is no exception. The largest of all the buckwheats (as the name suggests), St. Catherine lives large with evergrayness. Even after the flowers fade from soft pink, the rust colored blooms add interest to the winter garden. It's always the last to get deadheaded in my yard. Much like manzanita or madrone trees, the branches develop lovely peeling bark. It also grows relatively quickly- a happy surprise in my fledgling patch of widely spaced slow-growing natives!

Soil: Well-drained, but happy in clay.
Sun: will take full sun and even part shade
Plant: I've had good luck with early Spring, but they aren't picky.
Buy it: I bought one from the Berkeley Botanical Garden during one of their infamous sales. Annie's also has them.
Good for: adding a bit of elegance without taking the space of a tree. Birds, butterflies, bees: this thing attracts them all!

1 comment:

  1. It's lovely, I'll have to keep an eye out for it when I go to the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden next month. Thanks for the introduction!