Buckwheat seeds (Volunteer buckwheat)

Fagopyrum esculentum

Buckwheat is an annual, characterised by large heart-shaped leaves. The tall erect plant can grow from 2 to 5 ft. (.6 - 1.5 m) in height and can produce several branches. Stems are hollow and the plant is very prone to lodging. Stems vary in colour from green to red and brown at maturity. Buckwheat has a shallow tap root system, with numerous laterals extending to 3 to 4 ft. (9 - 1.2 m) in depth.
The fruiting structure of buckwheat is on axillary or terminal racemes with densely clustered flowers. Flowers can be white or white tinged with pink. Seeds are wide at the base and triangular to almost round in cross section. Seed colour may be brown, grey-brown or black while size varies according to variety. The seed is comprised of a thick outer hull and an inner groat. 
Buckwheat has an indeterminate growth habit, so the crop does not mature uniformly. Plants will begin to blossom 5 to 6 weeks after sowing and will mature in 80 to 90 days. Buckwheat requires cross pollination to produce seed, so insect pollinators are essential for effective fertilization and seed set. Manitoba research recommends one honey bee colony per acre.