Information on Buckwheat

Common Name: Buckwheat
Scientific Name: Fagopyrum esculentum
Irish Name: Lus na gcearc
Family Group: Polygonaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period

Click for list of all flowering by month
Buckwheat could sometimes be confused with:


This is an erect species that reaches about 50cm tall, and it bears clusters of 5-tepalled, creamy-white flowers 2-4mm, with pale pink tepal margins on long stems. The plant is very sparsely hairy, with erect pinkish stems and the leaves are sagittate or arrow-shaped, those higher up the stem clasping while those lower down are stalked. The flowers bloom from July to September.  

This little annual species is an introduction into Ireland, possibly due to feeding for game birds and latterly as one type of seed in mixed birdseed for garden bird feeders. It can also be found on wasteland, around rubbish tips and field borders but is not very commonly found in Ireland. It belongs to the Knotweed or Polygonaceae family.  

I found this species in 2019 under one of our bird feeders and my identification was confirmed by Paul Green, BSBI Vice-county Recorder for Counties Waterford and Wexford.

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre