It is big and beautiful. Just when most of my other plants are hunkering down for the hot summer, St. Catherine's Lace comes on strong. First, it bursts with lacy patterns of tiny white flowers. Then, at the end of summer, the dried-up blooms turn rusty red, looking equally gorgeous in the fall. Many native buckwheats have a similar blooming pattern.
Next time you're hiking local hillsides, look for Catherine's (more widespread) relative California Buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum). California buckwheat is common in both coastal sage scrub and chaparral habitats. It sports little balls of white or pink-tinged flowers that age to a rust color. Bees love them.
Learn more about Southern California's unique coastal sage scrub and chaparral habitats.