Note: Information is dated. Do not rely on it.Buckwheat, or Brank. A plant with branched herbaceous stem, somewhat arrowshaped leaves, and purplish-white flowers, growing to the height of about thirty inches, and bearing a small triangular grain of a brownishblack without and white within. The shape of its seeds gives it its German name Buchweizen "beech wheat", whence the English name. The plant is said to have been first brought to Europe from Asia by the crusaders, and hence in France is often called Saracen corn. It grows on the poorest soils. It is cultivated in China and other eastern countries as a bread corn. In Europe buckwheat has been principally cultivated as food for oxen, swine, and poultry; but in Germany it serves as an ingredient in pottage, puddings, and other food, and in America buckwheat cakes are common.