Kellogg’s buckwheat is a California endangered plant species, which means that killing or possessing the plant is prohibited by the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). It is also a candidate species under the federal Endangered Species Act. Kellogg’s buckwheat is a perennial herb that forms leafy mats close to the ground and small, ball-shaped, white to rose-colored flowers that bloom from July to August.
Kellogg’s buckwheat has only been found in an area called Little Red Mountain in Mendocino County, and its range has likely always been limited to this habitat. Little Red Mountain is comprised of unique serpentine soils, and several rare plants are found in the area, including Arabis mcdonaldiana. At the time of this webpage posting, the California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB) listed seven occurrences that are presumed to still exist, however many of these occurrence records have not been updated for many years. The majority of these occurrences are on private and Bureau of Land Management land, with one occurrence on a CDFW ecological reserve. The primary threat to Kellogg’s buckwheat is potential surface mining for chromium and nickel. Almost every occurrence is privately owned by mining interests or covered by existing mining claims. While none of these are currently active, mining activities could devastate populations of Kellogg’s buckwheat. Other threats to Kellogg’s buckwheat include climate change, lack of genetic diversity, and extirpation due to an event such as wildfire.
Existing occurrences of Kellogg’s buckwheat should be preserved in perpetuity through conservation easements or similar methods and populations should be monitored.
CDFW may issue permits for Kellogg’s buckwheat pursuant to CESA, and you can learn more about the California laws protecting Kellogg’s buckwheat and other California native plants. Populations of Kellogg’s buckwheat occur in CDFW’s Northern Region. More information is also available from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Species Profile for Kellogg’s buckwheat.