Buckwheat - Not Just for Pancakes
You might be familiar with buckwheat through breakfast foods and pancakes, but did you know that there are around 250 species of wild buckwheat? There are 2 popular native species of buckwheat found in the grasslands of the Okanagan: Snow Buckwheat, and Parsnip-flower buckwheat.
Snow Buckwheat has minty coloured leaved and pretty light pink flowers that bloom in the fall. Parsnip-flower buckwheat has more classically green leaves and white or yellow flowers that form an umbrella like structure. They are very drought resistant once established and are easy to manage.
Mormon Metalmark on Snow Buckwheat
Wild buckwheat plants are very important for some species like the endangered Mormon Metalmark butterfly which uses it as a host plant. This means that this butterfly relies on these plants for food and larval development. With no buckwheat present, there would be no more of these butterflies. These plants are also tasty grazing plants for deer, elk, and other ungulates. People aren't the only ones that enjoy the taste of buckwheat.