Advanced Search Map Locator
View Settings
Nurseries Carrying this Plant Add Current Plant To List Edit Current Plant
Show all Photos

Butterflies 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 Scientific Name Order by # of Butterflies Hosted
Show nursery cultivars Hide nursery cultivars
Show plants not in nurseries Hide plants not in nurseries
Grid view Text view
Sea Cliff Buckwheat
Eriogonum parvifolium
About Sea Cliff Buckwheat (Eriogonum parvifolium) Nurseries Show All Photos Eriogonum parvifolium is a species in the Polygonaceae family that occurs on dune formations and sea cliffs in the coastal area of Central and Southern California. This evergreen shrub grows to a height of 30 to 100 centimeters with a spread of approximately the same dimension. This plant is an important host for a number of pollinating insects including certain endangered species. E. parvifolium occurs both on bluffs along the Pacific Ocean coast as well as Coastal Strand dunes formations, but is restricted to altitudes below 700 meters. In at least one instance within the Carbonera Creek watershed, it occurs farther inland in a Maritime Coast Range Ponderosa Pine forest. This shrub is also known by the common names Dune buckwheat, Coast buckwheat, Cliff buckwheat, or Seacliff buckwheat. The thick cauline leaves are five to thirty millimeters in size and may be lance-shaped to rounded. Alternatively leaves may be folded under, with the result of appearing more or less triangular; moreover they are smooth on the upper surfaces and woolly below. Foliage is green with reddish tinge, and the flowers white to pinkish or yellowish-green. The perianth measures 2.5 to 3.0 millimeters. This plant's smooth fruits are 2.5 to 3.0 millimeters across.

Sea Cliff Buckwheat is a great plant for coastal and seaside landscapes. It prefers full sun in its natural range, and does best in sandy soils, or on rocky slopes or cliffs. Easy, fast growing, very drought-tolerant and beautiful. It looks great hanging down over cliffs, slopes or walls, and is an important butterfly plant in the seaside and coastal plant communities.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
1 - 3.3 ft (0.3 - 1 m)

Max. Width
2 - 3 ft (0.6 - 0.9 m)

Mounding, Spreading


Growth Rate


Thick, triangle or heart shaped, grey green, bright green or reddish green depending on the season, often with wooly white ridges

Flower Color
Pink, Red, White, Yellow, Green

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Dunes and bluffs

Part Shade, Sun

Elevation ?
-217' - 4469'

Annual Precip. ?
9.6" - 45.5"

Summer Precip. ?
0.16" - 0.76"

Coldest Month ?
41.0° F - 56.7° F

Hottest Month ?
58.0° F - 77.4° F

Humidity ?
0.47 vpd - 25.87 vpd

Soil Description
Sandy rocky soils, sandstone

Soil Texture
Clay, Clay Loam, Sandy Clay, Sandy Clay Loam

Soil PH
5 - 8

Fast, Medium

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 0 - 10° F

Sunset Zones ?
5, 14, 15*, 16*, 17*, 21, 22, 23, 24*

Companion Plants
Giant Coreopsis, Chalk Dudleya, White Sage, Coastal Agave, White Coast Ceanothus, California Buckwheat, Seaside Fleabane,Coast Eriogonum

Wildlife Attracted
Butterflies, bees, other pollinators. Particularly important butterfly plant.

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, 1x/month
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Organic with Rocks

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment.

Common uses
Bank Stabilization, Groundcovers, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Coast Buckwheat, Dune Buckwheat, Dune Eriogonum, Sea-cliff Buckwheat, Seacliff 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