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Plant Guide

Eriogonum fasciculatum Benth.
Eastern Mojave buckwheat
ERFA2

Summary

Duration

Perennial

Growth Habit

Subshrub, Shrub

U.S. Nativity

Native to U.S.

Federal T/E Status

 

National Wetland Indicator

 

 

Morphology/Physiology

Active Growth Period

Spring and Summer

After Harvest Regrowth Rate

Slow

Bloat

None

C:N Ratio

High

Coppice Potential

No

Fall Conspicuous

No

Fire Resistant

No

Flower Color

White

Flower Conspicuous

Yes

Foliage Color

Green

Foliage Porosity Summer

Moderate

Foliage Porosity Winter

Porous

Foliage Texture

Medium

Fruit/Seed Color

White

Fruit/Seed Conspicuous

No

Growth Form

Multiple Stem

Growth Rate

Moderate

Height at 20 Years, Maximum (feet)

3

Height, Mature (feet)

3

Known Allelopath

No

Leaf Retention

No

Lifespan

Long

Low Growing Grass

No

Nitrogen Fixation

 

Resprout Ability

No

Shape and Orientation

Erect

Toxicity

None

 

Growth Requirements

Adapted to Coarse Textured Soils

Yes

Adapted to Fine Textured Soils

No

Adapted to Medium Textured Soils

Yes

Anaerobic Tolerance

None

CaCO3 Tolerance

High

Cold Stratification Required

No

Drought Tolerance

High

Fertility Requirement

Low

Fire Tolerance

High

Frost Free Days, Minimum

180

Hedge Tolerance

Low

Moisture Use

Low

pH, Minimum

7.5

pH, Maximum

8.5

Planting Density per Acre, Minimum

2700

Planting Density per Acre, Maximum

7000

Precipitation, Minimum

8

Precipitation, Maximum

20

Root Depth, Minimum (inches)

10

Salinity Tolerance

Medium

Shade Tolerance

Intolerant

Temperature, Minimum (°F)

7

 

Reproduction

Bloom Period

Mid Summer

Commercial Availability

Routinely Available

Fruit/Seed Abundance

Medium

Fruit/Seed Period Begin

Summer

Fruit/Seed Period End

Fall

Fruit/Seed Persistence

Yes

Propagated by Bare Root

Yes

Propagated by Bulb

No

Propagated by Container

Yes

Propagated by Corm

No

Propagated by Cuttings

No

Propagated by Seed

Yes

Propagated by Sod

No

Propagated by Sprigs

No

Propagated by Tubers

No

Seed per Pound

300000

Seed Spread Rate

Moderate

Seedling Vigor

Medium

Small Grain

No

Vegetative Spread Rate

None

 

Suitability/Use

Berry/Nut/Seed Product

No

Christmas Tree Product

No

Fodder Product

No

Fuelwood Product

None

Lumber Product

No

Naval Store Product

No

Nursery Stock Product

No

Palatable Browse Animal

Medium

Palatable Graze Animal

Low

Palatable Human

No

Post Product

No

Protein Potential

Low

Pulpwood Product

No

Veneer Product

No

 

Eriogonum fasciculatum Benth.
Eastern Mojave buckwheat
ERFA2
Cultivar: Duro

Summary

Duration

Perennial

Growth Habit

Subshrub, Shrub

U.S. Nativity

Native to U.S.

Federal T/E Status

 

National Wetland Indicator

 

 

Morphology/Physiology

Active Growth Period

Spring and Summer

After Harvest Regrowth Rate

 

Bloat

None

C:N Ratio

High

Coppice Potential

No

Fall Conspicuous

Yes

Fire Resistant

No

Flower Color

Yellow

Flower Conspicuous

Yes

Foliage Color

White-Gray

Foliage Porosity Summer

Moderate

Foliage Porosity Winter

Moderate

Foliage Texture

Coarse

Fruit/Seed Color

Brown

Fruit/Seed Conspicuous

Yes

Growth Form

Colonizing

Growth Rate

Slow

Height at 20 Years, Maximum (feet)

2

Height, Mature (feet)

2

Known Allelopath

No

Leaf Retention

No

Lifespan

Moderate

Low Growing Grass

No

Nitrogen Fixation

 

Resprout Ability

Yes

Shape and Orientation

Rounded

Toxicity

Slight

 

Growth Requirements

Adapted to Coarse Textured Soils

No

Adapted to Fine Textured Soils

No

Adapted to Medium Textured Soils

Yes

Anaerobic Tolerance

None

CaCO3 Tolerance

Medium

Cold Stratification Required

Yes

Drought Tolerance

High

Fertility Requirement

Low

Fire Tolerance

None

Frost Free Days, Minimum

140

Hedge Tolerance

Low

Moisture Use

Low

pH, Minimum

6

pH, Maximum

9

Planting Density per Acre, Minimum

2700

Planting Density per Acre, Maximum

7000

Precipitation, Minimum

10

Precipitation, Maximum

18

Root Depth, Minimum (inches)

20

Salinity Tolerance

High

Shade Tolerance

Intolerant

Temperature, Minimum (°F)

7

 

Reproduction

Bloom Period

Early Summer

Commercial Availability

Routinely Available

Fruit/Seed Abundance

Low

Fruit/Seed Period Begin

Summer

Fruit/Seed Period End

Fall

Fruit/Seed Persistence

Yes

Propagated by Bare Root

Yes

Propagated by Bulb

No

Propagated by Container

Yes

Propagated by Corm

No

Propagated by Cuttings

No

Propagated by Seed

Yes

Propagated by Sod

No

Propagated by Sprigs

No

Propagated by Tubers

No

Seed per Pound

325000

Seed Spread Rate

Slow

Seedling Vigor

Medium

Small Grain

No

Vegetative Spread Rate

None

 

Suitability/Use

Berry/Nut/Seed Product

No

Christmas Tree Product

No

Fodder Product

No

Fuelwood Product

None

Lumber Product

No

Naval Store Product

No

Nursery Stock Product

Yes

Palatable Browse Animal

Low

Palatable Graze Animal

Low

Palatable Human

No

Post Product

No

Protein Potential

Low

Pulpwood Product

No

Veneer Product

No

 

Kingdom  Plantae -- Plants

Subkingdom  Tracheobionta -- Vascular plants

Superdivision  Spermatophyta -- Seed plants

Division  Magnoliophyta -- Flowering plants

Class  Magnoliopsida -- Dicotyledons

Subclass  Caryophyllidae

Order  Polygonales

Family  Polygonaceae -- Buckwheat family

Genus  Eriogonum Michx. -- buckwheat P

Species  Eriogonum fasciculatum Benth. -- Eastern Mojave buckwheat P

 

Common Names

Eastern Mojave buckwheat, wild buckwheat, buckwheat, flat-top buckwheat

 

Uses

California buckwheat has shown excellent performance as a conservation plant on critical areas and problem soils, such as Serpentine, decomposed granites, and high pH soils. Its showy white flowers also make it ideal for environmental enhancement uses. Due to its long flowering period, California buckwheat is also an excellent insectory plant that provides nectar sources for beneficial insects when planted next to crops as part of an (IPM) Integrated Pest Management program.

 

Ethnobotanic Uses: The Cahuilla drank leaf tea for headache and stomach pain. Hot root tea drunk for colds and laryngitis. Root poultice was applied to wounds. A tea of dried flowers or dried roots was taken to prevent heart problems. Studies have identified leucoanthocyanidins beneficial to the heart in other Eriogonum species.

 

Status

Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status (e.g. threatened or endangered species, state noxious status, and wetland indicator values).

 

Weediness

This plant may become weedy or invasive in some regions or habitats and may displace desirable vegetation if not properly managed. Please consult with your local NRCS Field Office, Cooperative Extension Service office, or state natural resource or agriculture department regarding its status and use.  Weed information is also available from the PLANTS Web site.

 

Description

General: California buckwheat is a native evergreen shrub about 12 to 39 inches high and 28 to 51 inches wide. Branches are numerous, slender and flexible. Leaves are egg-shaped, 1.5 to 3.8 inches long and less than half an inch wide, smooth or fuzzy above and fuzzy beneath. Flowers are white or pink. Flowering period is from May through October. Seeds are light brown, angled and very small.

 

Distribution

California buckwheat grows naturally on dry slopes and canyons near the coast from San Diego County north to Marin County. It is also found in Utah, Arizona and northwestern Mexico.

 

Habitat

Dry slopes, washes and canyons in scrub.

 

Adaptation

California buckwheat can be used as a conservation plant on critically eroded areas and for environmental enhancement on sandy to clay loam, moderately to well-drained soils. This species occurs abundantly in southern California but is also adapted to parts of California within the Mediterranean climate up to 2700 feet elevation where the mean annual precipitation ranges from 7-20 inches.

 

Establishment

California buckwheat is a good seed producer. Seed matures in the early fall. Annual production is about 300 pounds per acre. The seed dries on the plant, which allows some leeway in harvesting. Fruits can be stripped to dry clusters and then cleaned by machine. Without the calyx removed from the seed, there are about 334,000 seeds per pound. Seed germination is about 25 percent.

 

Plants can be propagated by seeding directly into containers in the greenhouse. Plants grow rapidly and should be moved into larger containers or the field as growth progresses. California buckwheat also can be seeded directly into the field. Seeding rates are 9 pounds per acre drilled and 14 pounds per acre broadcast.

 

Management

On wildfire burned areas, use 1-2 pounds per acre as part of a mixture. Seed germination is quite variable, so buying good quality seed is important. If germination is less than 25 percent, double the seeding rate.

 

Homeowners may need to buy this seed directly from specialty seed suppliers. Use 4 to 8 ounces of seed for a 10,000 square foot area.  When using container plants, set plants three feet apart.

 

Pests and Potential Problems

No known pest problems.  California buckwheat provides an excellent insectaries habitat which primarily supports beneficial insects.  Before placing it next to a crop, check with local IPM Integrated Pest Management specialists to ensure that it is compatible with targeted insect populations.

 

Seeds and Plant Production

California buckwheat produces about 145kg/ha (300 lbs/ac) of seed. Achenes with calyx attached are handled as seed. The calyx can be separated by rubbing the achenes through a number 6 screen. Without the calyx removed there are about 735,000 seeds per kilogram (334,000 seeds/lb.). Seed germination is approximately 25 percent.

 

Plants are propagated by seeding directly into containers in the greenhouse. Seedlings in the early stages of growth are somewhat susceptible to “damp-off” and quite sensitive to cold. Only “hardened” material should be used in plantings.

 

Cultivars, Improved, and Selected Materials (and area of origin)

‘Duro’ (CA) - is a blend of six accessions of California buckwheat. In 1964, seed was collected from six native stands in Kern, San Luis Obispo, and Modoc counties. Container plants of these accessions were planted together in three rows at the Pleasanton PMC and all subsequent plantings of ‘Duro’ were made with blended seed collected from these rows. ‘Duro’ California buckwheat was performed better than most other native California shrubs in both container plantings and direct seedlings on critically eroded areas.

 

Control

Please contact your local agricultural extension specialist or county weed specialist to learn what works best in your area and how to use it safely.  Always read label and safety instructions for each control method. Trade names and control measures appear in this document only to provide specific information.  USDA NRCS does not guarantee or warranty the products and control methods named, and other products may be equally effective.

 

References

Foster, S. and C. Hobbs. 2002. Western medicinal plants and herbs. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York.

 

Hickman, J.C. 1993. The Jepson manual of higher plants of California. University of California Press, Los Angeles and Berkeley.

 

Monroe, G. 2003. Eriogonum fasciculatum. San Luis Obispo County, California.

 

USDA-NRCS. Notice of release of ‘Duro’ California buckwheat. California Agricultural Experiment Station, Davis.

 

Prepared By:

Dave Dyer

USDA NRCS Plant Materials Center, Lockeford, California

 

Reina O’Beck

USDA NRCS California State Office, Davis, California

 

Species Coordinator:

Dave Dyer

USDA NRCS Plant Materials Center, Lockeford, California

 

Edited: 11Jul2005 ro; 29Jul2005 rln; 8Aug2005 rln; 06jun06 jsp

 

For more information about this and other plants, please contact your local NRCS field office or Conservation District, and visit the PLANTS Web site<http://plants.usda.gov> or the Plant Materials Program Web site <http://Plant-Materials.nrcs.usda.gov>


 

 

 

Attribution:  U.S. Department of Agriculture 

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