Eriogonum – St. Catherine’s Lace – Wild Buckwheat – Umbrella Plant –
There are about 150 species of annuals, perennial and small evergreen shrubs,, in this genus. They occur mostly in desert and Mountains in Western USA. They are grown for their beautiful, often silver or white woolly foliage and their dense heads, umbels, or cymes of small, long lasting flowers, cupped in involucres of toothed or lobed bracts. They range from compact, cushion forming plants with linear to ovate or rounded leaves in basal rosettes, to large shrubs with opposite, alternate, or whorled leaves. Fruit is a 3 angled achene. Grow smaller, rosette forming species in a rock garden or alpine house, the larger ones in a shrub border. Taller species make good cut flowers both fresh and dried.
Outdoors, grow in poor to gritty, moderately fertile, sharply drained soil in full sun to part shade, protect from winter moisture. Deadhead to prolong flowering. Divide in spring or fall.
Prone to powdery mildew, and rust.
E. gracilipes – E. kennedyi subsp. gracilipes – Sulfur Flower – This woody based, mat forming perennial from Sierra Nevada grows 3″ tall and 5″ wide. It produces oval to oval-lance shaped, white woolly, greenish gray leaves, to 3/8″ long, with edges rolled under. In early and mid summer it bears umbels, to ½” across, of pink tinted white flowers that darken with age are borne atop of stems to 4″ long. Best in a scree bed or alpine house.