Advanced Search Map Locator
Add Current Plant To List Edit Current Plant
My Plant Lists Nurseries Planting Guide Contact Calscape About Calscape
Tap map to see plants native to location
Order by Popularity Order by Common Name Order by Botanical Name
Show All Plants Show Only Plants in Nurseries
Grid view Text view
Sulphur Buckwheat Back to Plant Page
Eriogonum umbellatum

Zoom To My AddressZoom To California Estimated Plant Range

About Sulphur Buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum) A species of wild buckwheat known by the common name sulphurflower buckwheat, or simply sulphur flower. It is native to western North America from California to Colorado to central Canada, where it is abundant and found in many habitats. This is an extremely variable plant and hard to identify because individuals can look very different from one another. Also, there are a great many Varieties: This makes it difficult to generalize regarding its characteristics and requirements. It may be a perennial herb forming a small clump with flowers to 10 centimeters tall, or a sprawling shrub approaching two meters high and wide. The leaves are usually woolly and low on the plant, and the flowers come in many colors from white to bright yellow to purple. Native American groups utilized parts of this plant for a number of medicinal uses.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
0.33 - 7 ft (0.1 - 2.1 m)

Max. Width
5 ft (1.5 m)

Rounded, Mounding, Spreading


Growth Rate
Moderate, Slow


Flower Color

Flowering Season
Summer, Fall

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Dry, open, often rocky places in a variety of vegetation communities including sagebrush scrub, Juniper or Pinyon-Juniper woodland, Ponderosa Pine Forest, and Subalpine Forest


Elevation ?
325' - 14460'

Annual Precip. ?
3.7" - 154.7"

Summer Precip. ?
0.27" - 5.98"

Coldest Month ?
11.1° F - 54.3° F

Hottest Month ?
34.4° F - 83.6° F

Humidity ?
0.38 vpd - 37.78 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers sandy or gravelly soil with fast drainage

Soil PH
5.0 - 7.0

Fast, Medium

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 0° F

Companion Plants
It is difficult to specify companion plants due to the diverse parts of the state different habitats where it occurs. Grow with Manzanita (Arctostaphylos species), Ceanothus species, Artemisia species, and Sages (Salvia species), as well as many other plants.

Wildlife Attracted
Buckwheats generally are very important for pollinators

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Organic with Rocks

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: 3 mos. stratification; No treatment may give fair germination.

Common uses
Deer Resistant, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Sulphurflower Buckwheat, Sulphur Flower, Sulphur-flower Buckwheat

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

Sign in to your Calscape Account X

Once signed in, you'll be able to access any previously saved plant lists or create new ones.

Email Address

Sign In