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Products > Eriogonum giganteum
 
Eriogonum giganteum - St. Catherine's Lace
   

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Polygonaceae (Knotweeds)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Cream & Pink
Bloomtime: Spring/Fall
Height: 4-8 feet
Width: 6-8 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Eriogonum giganteum (St. Catherine's Lace) - A beautiful evergreen shrub that typically grows as a large mound to 4 to 6 feet tall by as wide but can reach to 8 feet tall or more in optimum conditions with many branches that are clothed near the tips with 2 to 3 inch long oval leaves that are silver-green above and wooly white beneath. Starting in mid-spring (April to May) the flower heads, which can be up to a foot across, bear tiny cream colored flowers that are held in such an intricate inflorescence that they have been compared to lace doilies (hence the common name). The flowers mature to a cinnamon or rust color through the summer and early fall, having a longer showy bloom period than most other Buckwheats. Plant in full sun and irrigate very little to not at all along the coast. It is drought tolerant and hardy to about 20 degrees F. Grows best in well drained soils but also does well in clay soils, particularly on slopes. Tolerates seaside and arid inland valley conditions.. This dramatic large plant fits in well with other California native and mediterranean climate plants and can be a great backdrop in the succulent garden and is great for attracting many types of butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects and its seed attracts several species of birds. This seed can also help self-perpetuate this plant in the garden with not uncommon seedlings that can be left in place or transplanted elsewhere. The flowers are also useful in both fresh arrangements with white flowers or dried arrangements with cinnamon ones and hold their color well. When placing this plant consider its large size and that it is fairly brittle so can be damaged if in the path of people or large pets. It is a denser plant in its youth but older plants are bare towards the base with gnarled branches that can be pruned up to expose and enhance its structure, but is not a plant one wants to try to constrain the size of through pruning. St. Catherine's Lace is native to the Santa Barbara Channel Islands where it grows below 1,500 feet on dry slopes in the coastal scrub and chaparral on Santa Catalina, San Clemente and Santa Barbara islands. The name for the genus comes from the Greek words 'erion' meaning "wool" and 'gonu' meaning a "joint" or a "knee" which refers to the hairy joints of the type species, Eriogonum tomentosum. The specific epithet is in reference to the large size of this species compared with others in the genus. It also has the common names Giant Buckwheat and Lace Buckwheat. We have grown this plant in our nursery since 1990.  This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Eriogonum giganteum.
 
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