California buckwheat blooms in Anza

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Native California buckwheat is drought tolerant and an important nectar source for bees. Diane Sieker photo
The wildflower bloom continues into the hot days of summer with displays of California buckwheat shrubs found throughout the Anza Valley. While not a wheat species, the plant is beneficial to nature and man. Eriogonum fasciculatum, commonly called California buckwheat, is native to the southwestern United States. This hardy shrub grows naturally on slopes and canyons in chaparral and dry washes from San Diego County to Marin County in California. It is also found in Utah, Arizona and northwest Mexico. Easily recognizable, California buckwheat forms a compact, spreading bush that can grow up to 6 feet in height and 9 feet across. The tiny leaves grow in clusters at nodes along the branches and are leathery, fuzzy underneath and rolled under along the edges. Flowers appear in dense cl
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