Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum), or common buckwheat, is a plant cultivated for its grain-like seeds and as a cover crop. The name "buckwheat" is used for several other species, such as Fagopyrum tataricum, a domesticated food plant raised in Asia. Despite the name, buckwheat is not closely related to wheat, as it is not a grass. Instead, buckwheat is related to sorrel, knotweed, and rhubarb. Buckwheat is referred to as a pseudocereal because its seeds' culinary use is the same as cereals', owing to their composition of complex carbohydrates.
Ultimately from Middle Low German bōkwête (“beech-wheat”), probably via Middle Dutch boecweit, boecweite. Compare German Buchweizen. Despite the name, buckwheat is not related to wheat, as it is not a grass.
- IPA(key): /ˈbʌkʍiːt/, /ˈbʌkwiːt/
buckwheat (usually uncountable, plural buckwheats)
- An Asian plant, of the species Fagopyrum esculentum. [from 16th c.]
- (cooking) The fruit of this plant used as a pseudocereal.