The kind contributor of today’s photograph is Josh M, aka gravitywave@Flickr (original image via the BPotD Flickr Group Pool). This photograph is a fine example of a species in habitat image with the environment in the background. Thank you, Josh, it’s much appreciated!
The plant family Polygonaceae has a worldwide distribution, but the genus Eriogonum is primarily found in western North America. The Jepson Manual states that Eriogonoum is the largest dicotyledonous genus in California. Today’s species, coast buckwheat or seaside buckwheat, is found along the central coast of California and northward into Oregon.
Intriguingly, specimens have been reported from interior regions of California (see California Wildflowers from the California Academy of Sciences), and I don’t quite know how to explain that phenomenon – perhaps escapees from gardens? Even the august Flora of North America has this to say about the ornamental potential of Eriogonum latifolium: “The brilliantly white-lanate, spreading shrubs become rather globose in shape under cultivation, and as a result make an attractive addition to the garden, especially as the flowers wither through various shades of pink to rose. The species should be used much more than at present in places where cool summer temperatures, good moisture, and sandy soils are available.”
Botany resource link: For those of you who like to hike in mountainous areas in BC (or anywhere in the world, for that matter) seeking alpine plants, Mountain Flora is a new web site published by some of your fellow enthusiasts. The site includes locations and descriptions of hikes, accompanied by plant lists.