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ERIOGONUM umbellatum

Image of Eriogonum umbellatum

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Polygonaceae

Botanical Name

ERIOGONUM umbellatum

Plant Common Name

Sulphur-flowered Buckwheat

General Description

This beautiful perennial from mountains and high valleys of western North America is an excellent plant for dry upland gardens. It typically forms carpets of small spoon-shaped evergreen leaves that give rise in summer to upright woolly calf-high flower stalks topped with tight rounded clusters of light yellow blooms. A few variants of this plant grow as small upright shrubs. The flowers are a favorite of butterflies. The leaves are usually olive- to bright-green above and gray and felted underneath.

This variable perennial does best in full sun and very well drained, relatively infertile soil. It works well in borders, edges, or naturalistic plantings in cool dry mountainous regions. It also is a good trough or rock garden subject for areas such as the Northeast United States.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    3"-60" / 7.6cm - 152.4cm (6)

  • Width

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    Western United States, California, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Mat-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Light Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Gray

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Gray

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Gray

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Alpine, Container, Edging, Groundcover, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies