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Eriogonum giganteum

Saint Catherine's lace

Eriogonum giganteum can grow to 10' tall and wide, but usually stays at a much more manageable 4-5'.  It has oval gray-green leaves and produces masses of large, flat-topped clusters of creamy white flowers in summer.

Eriogonum giganteum lives up to its name by sometimes growing to 10' tall and wide.  However, it usually stays at a much more manageable 4-5'. 

Saint Catherine's lace has an attractive rounded shape and produces masses of large, flat-topped clusters of creamy white flowers in summer that turn to reddish-rown as they age.  The flower clusters are similar to those of Eriogonum arborescens (Santa Cruz Island buckwheat), but much bigger - sometimes growing as wide as 1' across - and more open.  The flowers resemble lace doilies, hence the common name for this shrub.

The flowers can be cut at any time to bring indoors and, when dry, will stay the same color as they were when cut.

The gray green leaves are oval and often slightly crinkled.  They're covered in silvery-white hairs which give them a fuzzy woolly feel and appearance.

The lower branches can be pruned up to make a really attractive specimen shrub.  Doing this also makes room for more plants underneath!

Saint Catherine's lace is tolerant of many soil types, including clay although it prefers good drainage.  Plant it where it'll receive at least half a day of sun.

Buckwheats hybridize readily; where Eriogonum giganteum meets Eriogonum arborescens (Santa Cruz Island buckwheat), they frequently hybridize to produce seedlings with characteristics of both parents.  These plants are sometimes available in nurseries as Eriogonum blissianum.



Family: Polygonaceae

Native to dry slopes and ridges in coastal scrub and chaparral below 1,500 feet on Santa Catalina, San Clemente and Santa Barbara Islands off the coast of southern California.

Saint Catherine's lace Growing and Maintenance Tips

Once or twice a year, lightly prune the branch tips to control the size of this shrub and to maintain a pleasing shape.  Take care not to neglect pruning duties as older wood doesn't reliably produce new shoots.


4-10 Feet


4-10 Feet


5-10 Feet

Eriogonum giganteum Characteristics


  • California native
  • Salt Tolerant
  • Evergreen
  • Wind resistant

Flower color

  • White / Cream / Ivory

Foliage color

  • Silver, White, Grey


  • Sunny all day - Coast
  • Morning sun

Season of interest (flowering)

  • Summer

Wildlife appeal

  • Attracts beneficial insects
  • Attracts butterflies

Plants that work well with Eriogonum giganteum

Canyon Gray California sagebrush Canyon Gray California sagebrush (Artemisia californica 'Canyon Gray')
Yarrow, Island Pink Yarrow, Island Pink (Achillea millefolium 'Island Pink')
Ray Hartman's ceanothus Ray Hartman's ceanothus (Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman')
Winnifred Gilman's sage Winnifred Gilman's sage (Salvia clevelandii 'Winnifred Gilman')
Pacific blue Brandegee's sage Pacific blue Brandegee's sage (Salvia brandegi 'Pacific Blue')
Spectacular penstemon Spectacular penstemon (Penstemon spectabilis)
Silver Select California fuchsia Silver Select California fuchsia (Epilobium 'Silver Select')
Serpentine blue California fescue Serpentine blue California fescue (Festuca californica 'Serpentine Blue')
Shasta sulfur buckwheat Shasta sulfur buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum var. polyanthum 'Shasta Sulfur')
Sunset manzanita Sunset manzanita (Arctostaphylos 'Sunset')
Aromas sage Aromas sage (Salvia 'Aromas')
Gumplant Gumplant (Grindelia stricta var. angustifolia)