Eastern Mojave Buckwheat (Fasciculatum)

The Eastern Mojave Buckwheat (Fasciculatum) is generally described as a perennial subshrub or shrub. This is native to the U.S. (United States) has its most active growth period in the spring and summer . The Eastern Mojave Buckwheat (Fasciculatum) has green foliage and inconspicuous white flowers, with a moderate amount of conspicuous white fruits or seeds. The greatest bloom is usually observed in the mid summer, with fruit and seed production starting in the summer and continuing until fall. Leaves are not retained year to year. The Eastern Mojave Buckwheat (Fasciculatum) has a long life span relative to most other plant species and a moderate growth rate. At maturity, the typical Eastern Mojave Buckwheat (Fasciculatum) will reach up to 3 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of 3 feet.

The Eastern Mojave Buckwheat (Fasciculatum) is easily found in nurseries, garden stores and other plant dealers and distributors. It can be propagated by bare root, container, seed. It has a moderate ability to spread through seed production and the seedlings have medium vigor. Note that cold stratification is not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below 7°F. has high tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions.

Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.

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.

General Characteristics

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.

Required Growing Conditions

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.

Cultivation and Care

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.


Weediness This plant may become weedy or invasive in some regions or habitats and may displace desirable vegetation if not properly managed.

General Upkeep and Control

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.

Plant Basics
Growth Rate Moderate
General Type Subshrub, Shrub
Growth Period Spring, Summer
Growth Duration Perennial
Lifespan Long
Plant Nativity Native to U.S.
Commercial Availability Routinely Available
Physical Characteristics
Bloom Period Mid Summer
Displays Fall Colors No
Shape/Growth Form Multiple Stem
Drought Tolerance High
Shade Tolerance Intolerant
Height When Mature 3
Vegetative Spread None
Flower Color White
Flower Conspicuousness Yes
Fruit/Seed Abundance Medium
Fruit/Seed Seasonality Summer Fall
Seed Spread Rate Moderate
Gardening Characteristics
Propagations (Ways to Grow) Bare Root, Container, Seed
Moisture Requirements Low
Cold Stratification Required No
Minimum Temperature 7
Soil Depth for Roots 10
Toxic to Nearby Plants No
Toxic to Livestock No
After-Harvest Regrowth Rate Slow
After-Harvest Resprout Ability No
Responds to Coppicing No
Growth Requirements
pH Range 7.5–8.5 pH
Precipitation Range 8–8 inches/yr
Planting Density 2700–7000 indiv./acre
Soil Textures Coarse, Medium
Soil Depth for Roots 10
Minimum Frost-Free Days 180 day(s)
Salinity Tolerance Medium
CaCO3 Tolerance High
Sustainability & Use
Leaf Retention No
Palatability Medium
Fire Resistant No
Causes Livestock Bloating None

Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database, plants.usda.gov.
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA