Pronounciation: Er-i-o-GO-num fas-ci-cu-LA-tum
Landscape Use: Upland desert native water conservation gardens, rock gardens, subtle flowering accent, filler plant, restoration plantings.
Form & Character: Informal, low rounded and dense, subshrub like, arid, desert chaparral.
Growth Habit: Evergreen woody perennial shrub, moderate to slow grower, 1 to 6 feet in height with a spread of 3 to 8 feet; mostly on the smaller side of this description when grown in Phoenix.
Foliage/Texture: Leaves are linear, sometimes lobed at terminal ends, gray-green, to 3/4 inch long and curved or rolled inward. Adaxial (upper) leaf surface is dark green and viscid (sticky); abaxial (lower) leaf surface is highly tomentose; fine texture.
Flowers & Fruits: Terminal, pinkish white blooms occur over a long period on 2 to 5 inch long stalks, usually March-November in the wild. Blooming season is truncated to spring in lower desert landscapes because of the heat; fruit inconspicuous, a fruit is considered ripe when when the spent flower base enclosing it has turned light brown or rusty brown.
Seasonal Color: White to rosy pink fading to a pinkish brown nearly year around.
Light: Full sun
Soil: Tolerant of soil alkalinity, needs well drained soil.
Watering: Needs only infrequent and modest water during the summer in lower desert urban areas. Supplement water for better ornamental quality.
Pruning: Lightly head back buckwheat once every few years to thicken canopy cover and control shape. Otherwise, please leave them alone and enjoy their special contribution to your desert garden.
Propagation: Seed and softwood cuttings
Disease and pests: Root rot pathogens in chronically wet or poorly-drained soil.
Additional comments: Buckwheats are a rarely used southwestern native perennial shrub. In my opinion, buckwheats are deserving of greater attention and landscape use for native plantings and landscape water conservation. The variety poliofolium is a small dwarf selection with especially showy pinkish-white flowers. Busckwheats are important pollinator plants for native bees.
E. fasciculatum var. polifolium is a desert varietal selection that is especially well-suited for Phoenix desert landscapes.