Buckwheat - Knowledgebase Question

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Question by 852056530
February 1, 2003
Just what is buckwheat? While eating buckwheat pancakes, I asked my wife the above question. Is it considered a cereal grain? We have a wild buckwheat which grows here in the desert, but I can't see that it would be of much use to humans.

Answer from NGA
February 1, 2003
Cultivated buckwheat is Fagopyrum esculentum and it is considered an herb. It's grown mostly for the fruit (seeds), which are ground into flour. The wild buckwheat you find is a weedy cousin and is generally not considered a good source of edible seed. Buckwheat is often planted as a cover crop over fallow fields or garden beds to help prevent soil erosion, to attract pollinating insects, and to help enrich the soil. Hope this answers your question!

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