Eriogonum umbellatum var. aureum

Latin Name: Eriogonum umbellatum var. aureum
Common Name: Buckwheat, Golden Sulfur-flower
Mature Height (ft): 12-24 inches when in flower
Mature Width: 18-24 inches

Mature Shape

Low mounding leaves, flowers on stout stems to 24"
Mulch: Inorganic

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Golden sulfur buckwheat is one of those plants you'll come across while hiking in the West and wonder why it isn't in your garden, its so adorable!
The leaves are gray-green, spatula shaped and woolly underneath, to about 2-3 inches. They form a rosette at the base. In early spring, tall, stout stems extend upward up to 2-3 feet. The bright golden flowers are nearly luminescent, appearing first as ball-like umbels (clusters), then each ball opening up to a circle of golden flowers. As the flowers age, then turn orange.
The appearance of golden buckwheat is variable in nature as to its size, and intensity of yellow color. Golden buckwheat is long-flowering into the summer months when well established.
Golden or sulphur buckwheat provides an important source of seed for birds and nectar for moths and butterflies. Various species of Eriogonum play host to the caterpillars of several butterflies including the Mormon Metalmark butterfly, the Rocky Mountain dotted-blue, and the Lupine Blue butterfly.
Their dried flowers can be used in dried arrangements. In winter, the gray-green leaves turn a pleasing red-russet until spring.

Use in Garden

Even if golden buckwheat wasn't so long flowering, one would still want the attractive mound because of its leaves for a rock garden, xeric garden, wildlife and native plant garden. Dried flower stalks can be cut and used in dried arrangements. Great winter interest too.


None. Supplemental irrigation is not necessary unless in a prolonged drought. Plants will flower longer and grow larger with once a month irrigation.