The crop with bright white flowers- buckwheat

The noodles made from the crop are the Japanese would eat in the New Year’s Eve. In Europe, it could be made by the residents as foods or healthy foods like breads, cookies, and congee. Except for brewing beers and beverages, it could also be used for the production of ice creams, pastries, snacks, and vegetarianproducts. It could also be used as green manure crops, fodder crops, grain crops, and cover plants with water and soil conservation capacity. The whole plant is valuable for medical use an d has been demonstrated that it could prevent and cure some diseases as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, and constipation. It also has eyesight protection and anticancer effects. What is the crop with such more functions? So it is the buckwheat which be regarded as a green manure crop in recent years.

Buckwheat is classified into the family Polygonaceae and genus Fagopyrum and is an annual or perennial herb. Although the last word of the name of it and wheat is the same in Chinese, but the difference between buckwheat and other grain crops is that the former does not belong to the family Gramineae. The warm and slightly dry climate is suited for its growth, but the temperature of its early growth stage should high enough. It is originally utilized as a green manure in the paddy fields of central Taiwan in fall and winter. Its flower color is white with slightly pink. The inflorescence is known as terminal or axillary compound raceme with closely clustered small flowers. The beautiful flowers with bright white are so many and could attract insects to them as nectar plants (Fig. 1). The scene is just like a beautiful picture.

Taiwan Seed Improvement and Propagation Station, COA indicates that the seed of buckwheat is triangle shaped and covered by a hard hull (Fig. 2). After sowing, the seeds would emerge in about 4 days. The flowers should bloom in about one month. The plant height could reach approximately 50 cm on the 40th day after sowing. The flowering period is nearly one month. In the 2016 Xinshe Flower Sea Festival, there is an area densely planted with buckwheat flowers. Its bright white color catches the sight of tourists with admiration (Fig. 3). Because buckwheat is easy to grow and manage, it would become a new green manure crop in Taiwan in the future.

Fig.1 Nectar plants ─ buckwheat.
▲ Fig.1 Nectar plants ─ buckwheat.
  Fig.2 The triangle shaped seeds of buckwheat.
​​​​​​​▲ Fig.2 The triangle shaped seeds of buckwheat.
Fig.3 The buckwheat flower field.
▲ Fig.3 The buckwheat flower field.