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Common Buckwheat

Fagopyrum esculentum

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Polygonaceae (Dock)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Fields, wasteland, woodland.

Pink, 5 petals
White flowers, tipped pink, similar in appearance to bistorts. Pollinated by flies and bees.
Markedly sharp, 3-angled fruits. Their seeds ripen from August to October. The seeds are similar in appearance to sunflower seeds.
An annual flower with broad arrow-shaped or triangular leaves.
Other Names:
Beechwheat, Buckwheat, Garden Buckwheat.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Fagopyrum esculentum, also known as common buckwheat or beechwheat, is a species of flowering plant in the family Polygonaceae. It is native to Asia and is widely cultivated for its edible seeds and leaves. F. esculentum is an annual herb that grows to a height of up to 1 meter. It has triangular, dark green leaves and small, white or pink flowers that bloom in the summer. The plant is grown as a grain crop and is a good source of carbohydrates, protein, and dietary fiber. It is also used as a cover crop to improve soil health and suppress weeds. Buckwheat is commonly used in a variety of dishes, including pancakes, noodles, and porridge, and is also used to make flour and other food products.


Common Buckwheat: A Nutritious and Versatile Grain

Buckwheat, also known as Fagopyrum esculentum, is a highly nutritious grain that is widely grown and consumed across the world. Despite its name, it is not related to wheat and is gluten-free, making it a popular alternative for those with gluten sensitivities.

One of the main advantages of buckwheat is its versatility. It can be used to make a variety of dishes, including porridge, pancakes, noodles, and even flour for baking. The grain has a nutty flavor and a chewy texture that makes it a popular ingredient in many traditional dishes, such as Japanese soba noodles and Russian blini pancakes.

In terms of nutrition, buckwheat is a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It contains all eight essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source. Additionally, it is high in antioxidants and has been shown to have a range of health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Buckwheat is also easy to grow and is a hardy crop that can be grown in a variety of conditions. It is often used as a cover crop in rotations, as it is known to improve soil health and reduce erosion.

Another great aspect of buckwheat is its versatility in cooking. It can be boiled, roasted, or ground into flour. Boiled buckwheat is often used as a side dish or used to make porridge. Roasted buckwheat, known as kasha, is a staple in many countries and is often served as a side dish or used to make stuffing. Buckwheat flour is popular in gluten-free baking, as it has a slightly nutty flavor and a dense texture that works well in recipes for cakes, muffins, and breads.

Buckwheat is also an eco-friendly crop, as it is highly resistant to pests and diseases and requires minimal pesticide use. It also helps to improve soil health and fertility, making it an ideal crop for sustainable agriculture.

Another benefit of buckwheat is its versatility in terms of cultural cuisine. In Asian countries, such as Japan, buckwheat is used to make soba noodles, while in Eastern Europe, it is often used to make blini, a type of pancake. In Western countries, buckwheat flour is often used to make gluten-free pancakes, waffles, and crepes.

In addition to its culinary uses, buckwheat has also been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. It is said to have anti-inflammatory and antidiabetic properties, and some studies suggest that it may help to lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

In conclusion, common buckwheat is a highly nutritious and versatile grain that offers a range of health benefits and cooking possibilities. Its eco-friendliness and cultural versatility make it a great addition to any diet.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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