Eriogonum grande var. rubescens 'Red Ranger' (Red San Miguel Island Buckwheat) - An evergreen small shrub that grows to 1 foot tall with the branches lying prostrate and spreading to 3 feet wide. It has small spoon-shaped leaves that are a gray green on the upper surface and wooly below and in late spring through fall appear the inch wide pom pompon clusters of dark red flowers that are held above the foliage on a 2-foot-tall branching inflorescence.
Plant in full sun in sandy or even heavier clay soil with little to no irrigation. Hardy to 15 ° F. This dark form of the normally pink flowering variety, which we also grow and list as Eriogonum grande var. rubescens, is a dramatic looking plant and like the typical pink form, should prove to be both a great looking and durable buckwheat with pollen and seed that also attracts butterflies (Gray Hairstreak, Acmon Blue) and birds.
This plant is native to San Miguel, Santa Cruz, and Santa Rosa islands in the Santa Barbara Channel Islands chain. The name for the genus comes from the Greek words 'erion' meaning "wool" and 'gonu' meaning a "joint" or a "knee", which some interpret to be in reference to the hairy joints of some of the species of the genus. The specific epithet is from the Latin word 'grandis' meaning "large", "grand" or "showy", and in this case it was likely for the showy flowers. The varietal name means "becoming red, again in reference to the pinkish red flowers.
Our crop of this plant is seed grown from seeds collected by our outside salesman Matthew Roberts with the owner's permission off a garden plant in Manhattan Beach. The owner knew that this plant had originally been purchased from the Theodore Payne Foundation and we are told by them that they did once have a red seed strain that they grew.
Information about Eriogonum grande var. rubescens 'Red Ranger' displayed on this page is based on our research about it conducted in our library and gathered from reliable online sources. We include observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well as how the crops have performed in containers in our own nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others about this plant when we feel it adds information and particularly welcome hearing from anyone who has any additional cultural recommendations that would aid others in growing it.