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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Friday - March 21, 2008

From: La Pine, OR
Region: Northwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Eriogonum spergulinum, wild buckwheat
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Do you have any information on the wildflower Eriogonum spergulinum???

ANSWER:

Well, frankly, not a whole lot. Eriogonum spergulinum (spurry buckwheat) is shown on the USDA Plant Profile as being confined to California and, in fact, endemic to a few counties in California. It is not in the Wildflower Center Plant Database, but that doesn't mean it's not native; apparently, it is. This University of Maryland article by James L. Reveal on Taxonomic Treatment of Eriagonoidaea (Polygonaceae) indicates the counties where it is found in California, Idaho, Nevada and Oregon, which includes your county of Deschutes. We found a website from CalPhotos with pictures of the various parts of the plant and flowers. Presumably, something called "buckwheat" can also count as a wildflower. If you are looking for seed sources for this plant, go to this site of native seed suppliers for Oregon, contact the nurseries and see if they carry the seed or can suggest a source.

 

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