North Coast Gardening | Plant grows out of pink pom poms – Times-Standard

One of the North Coast’s most important pollinating plants grows easily along local beaches and cliffs.

Tolerant of little water, full sun and brisk wind, coastal buckwheat, Eriogonum latifolium, attracts many insects, bees, moths and birds. It is fairly easy to grow in local gardens.

Each summer, Coastal Buckwheat puts on a good display of clusters of pink, pom-pom-like flowers on long stalks. The gray, woolly foliage forms a low mound and spreads up to three feet wide. The flowering period extends from late spring to autumn.

Coastal buckwheat is not a long-lived perennial, but it reseeds reliably, so you will always have it in your garden. It needs full sun on the coast and requires very little water once established.

However, planting in well-drained soil is essential. One way to be successful if your garden soil is clayey is to mix plenty of gravel or perlite into the planting hole.

In the landscape, coastal buckwheat combines well with other local natives. It makes an excellent planting companion with ceanothus, twinberry, lupine, silk-tassel manzanita and beach aster, to name a few.

If you want to see coastal buckwheat in action, head to the Humboldt Botanical Garden in Eureka. It grows happily in the native plant garden at Lost Coast Brewery.

Terry Kramer is the site manager of the Humboldt Botanical Garden and a trained horticulturist and journalist. She has written a garden column for the Times-Standard since 1982. Contact her at

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