Buckwheat : ID Card
Buckwheat is an annual plant. It results from a variety connected with rhubarb and sorrel, and belongs to polygonacées (Polygonum fagogyrum), it is presented a high plant from 20 to 70 cm. Its sheets have the shape of heart and its small white or pink flowers are gathered in bunch. Its fruits (seeds or thimbles) are small convex trihedrons with three angles, its color is near dark chestnut.
Arrived in 1550 to in Bretagne (France), buckwheat come from Asia, it draws its name from Sarrazins, Muslim population, who came to St Malo to cultivate it. Buckwheat is cultivated for human consumption, enters in the composition of food for the cattle and is used for of honey manufacture. It is also a widespread floor covering culture which makes it possible to control temporarily bad grasses when it is used as green manure. As the buckwheat seed contains amino-acids, as lysin, it constitutes a more complete protein contribution than the other cereals.
It is sown from May to August, at a rate of 60 kilos.hectare. This plant grows very well on wet and sandy grounds. It is cultivated in Bretagne andlime phosphate is often used as manure. Its harvest takes place in September or in October and its output reaches 25 hectolitres (1500 kilos) per hectare. An hectolitre of grains weighs on average 60 kilos. Buckwheat grows well on poor grounds, it can be found in particular in Russia, in North America, in France (Bretagne, Limousin, Auvergne).
Buckwheat produces substances collected by the bees in order to be transformed into honey. Many plants are like that, but only a few of them can be used by domestic bees because of their morphology (obstruction of the body, length of horn). Buckwheat morphology is good for bees.
This plant grows quickly and is usually cultivated for his grain which is used as food for the poultry. The buckwheat straw is used as litter with the cattle. It constitutes a good manure, when it is mixed with the ground. The buckwheat flower is sought by the bees. The buckwheat flour is also used in cooking.