Through our new virtual programming series, Nature in your Neighborhood, we challenged volunteers to go out into their neighborhoods or backyards to see what plants sparked their interest. Whether plants are native or non native, we can all appreciate a connection to nature and the curiosity that it can spark!
By: Simon March-Cunningham
San Miguel Island Buckwheat
This Buckwheat (Eriogonum grande var. rubescens) is a species of flowering plant from the Channel Islands near California. Its flowers bloom from June to October and attract butterflies. The Buckwheat is a full sun plant that does not need much water and is drought resistant. I grew this Buckwheat in a pot in my yard as one of the plants I am growing for my garden renovation. I am planting native drought-resistant plants in my garden and I am figuring out which plants to put in. It has grown larger since then. It has gotten so tall that it was uprooting itself with its own weight, so I had to support it with a thin bamboo pole. The pink flowers it had attracted a few butterflies. Its flowers have started to wilt now because it is near the end of its flowering season this year, but it seems to be doing well, despite being attacked multiple times by whiteflies.
Sand Lettuce/Bluff Lettuce/Coastal Dudleya
This dense leaved succulent plant is a member of the Dudleya genus and is native to California and Northern Mexico. Originally, the Dudleya genus was considered part of the Echerveria genus because they look similar. However, the flowers of each genus are different, which is one of the main reasons of the separation of the two genuses. My Dudleya Caespitosa is small, but has plenty of space to grow in. The plant is living among an assortment of plants of the genuses Dudleya and Echerveria. The plant is in the ground, free from any human influence other than the sprinkler system that waters it, and appears to be doing well.