Genetic Variability in Native Plants

The two plants shown above are versions of Lacy Buckwheat (Eriogonum corymbosum), a beautiful, large Utah native. Both will cover themselves with small white flowers in the fall, but one will bloom earlier than the other. These two plants offer a great example of something I see all the time: genetic variability in native plants. Unlike highly cultivated species—which tend to be quite uniform –native plants can be highly variable in appearance, even differing in leaf color as in our two examples. This genetic variability allows native plants to adapt and survive the challenges that Mother Nature throws at them year after year.

And for me, it is also one of the challenges and joys of gardening with natives.

July 29, 2021