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nated in the North Atlantic States, it having been formerly extensively raised in New York State, particularly in the Mohawk Valley.?

567. COLLATERAL READING. Kafir Corn. By C. C. Georgeson. U. S. Dept. of Agr., Farmers' Bul. 37. Sorghum as a Forage Crop. By Thomas A. Williams. U. S. Dept. of Agr.,

Farmers' Bul. 50. Broom Corn. By Charles P. Hartley. U. S. Dept. of Agr., Farmers' Bul. 174. Pedigreed Sorghum as a Source of Cane Sugar. By A. T. Neale. Del. Col.

Agr. Expt. Sta. Bul. 51, pp. 3-11. Sorghum Sirup Manufacture. By A. A. Denton. U. S. Dept. of Agr., Farmers'

Bul. 135.

i Tenth Census of the U.S., Vol. Agr., p. sia

XXVII.

BUCKWHEAT.

568. Name.-Buckwheat obtains its name from its resem blance to the beechnut; the German for buckwheat (buchweizen), meaning beech wheat, having been corrupted in English into buckwheat. Fagopyrum, the name of the genus to which this plant belongs, means beechwheat. Buckwheat is not a cereal from a botanical point of view, but because its seed serves the purpose of cereals and enters into commerce as such it is customary to class it with the cereal crops.

569. Relationships.—This plant belongs to the buckwheat family (Polygonaceae), which includes the various species of sorrel and dock (Rumex), and of smartweed, knotweed, bindweed (Polygonum), all more or less troublesome weeds.

570. The Plant.—The roots of buckwheat are entirely different from those of the true cereals, consisting of one primary root and several branches. While the primary root extends directly downward and thus reaches into moist soil, its roots do not extend over large areas either laterally or vertically. The plant grows from two to four, under ordinary cultivation about three feet in height. It has a watery stem varying at the base from three-eighths to five-eighths inch in diameter. While green the color of the stem varies from green to red, which upon ripening becomes brown. The plant does not tiller or sucker, only one stem being produced from each seed. The stem is more or less branched, however, depending upon the thickness of seeding; the plant by this means adapting itself to its environment. The normal amount of branching under ordinary field culture may be seen in (581). The leaves are alternate, triangular, about as long as broad, varying in both dimensions from two to four inches, borne upon a pedicel varying from nearly sessile to nearly four inches in length. At the point where the branches or leaves arise upon the stem the stipule is developed into a legging known as an ochrea. The growth of the stem is from the tip instead of from the base, as is the case in the grass family.

571. The Flowers.—The pinkish white flowers are borne in a flat-topped cluster in the axils of the leaves and at the end of the stem or branch. There are no petals, but the sepals of the calyx have the appearance of petals. The calyx remains attached upon threshing at the base of the ripened grain. There are eight stamens and one three-parted pistil. There are two form of flowers, one with long stamens and short styles and the other with short stamens and long styles. Each plant bears but one form and the plants bearing the two forms are about equally divided. The New Jersey Station has shown that the fertility of the soil does not influence the ratio of the two forms and that seed from either form produce plants with both Buckwheat flowers: variety, forms in about equal numbers; although size; blossom, on left, long a slight tendency to follow the parent stamen and short style form,

natural size. form was thought to be observed. The crossing between the two unlike forms by insect visitation is believed to be secured by this arrangement.

572. The Grain.-The grain of buckwheat is called an achene, and consists of a single seed enclosed in the pericarp. The pericarp in a mature grain is a thick, hard hull with a

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smooth, somewhat shining surface. This hull is slightly inflated, easily removed, its triangular edges often splitting apart in stored grain. The testa is membraneous, light yellowish green in color; the embryo is curved and extends through the center, dividing the endosperm into two parts. The endosperm is comparatively soft and pure white in color. The embryo is relatively larger than in wheat.

573. Physical Properties. The grain of buckwheat may be described as a triangular pyramid with a rounded or bluntly rounded base. The base of the kernel after the hull has been removed is more nearly flat. While a cross section of the grain is usually three-angled, it is occasionally four-angled and more rarely two-angled. The grains vary in length from three-sixteenths to three-eighths inch. The width of the three sides is about equal, usually one-eighth to three-sixteenths inch at its widest part. The hull, and hence the grain, varies in color from silver gray to reddish brown and black. The legal weight per bushel of buckwheat varies in different States from forty to fifty-six pounds. In New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Canada, where it is chiefly raised, the weight per bushel is forty-eight pounds.

574. Composition. The following is the composition of buckwheat, buckwheat straw, buckwheat flour and its by-products:

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As compared with the grain of wheat, buckwheat contains a somewhat lower percentage of protein and a much higher

percentage of crude fiber. The chief difference in the fipur of wheat and buckwheat is the much lower percentage of protein in the latter, there being only about two-thirds as much protein in buckwheat flour as in wheat flour. Buckwheat straw contains a somewhat higher percentage of protein and crude fiber and a correspondingly low percentage of nitrogen-free extract. Buckwheat middlings is distinguished for its high percentage of protein and fat.

575. Species.—Three cultivated species of buckwheat have been recognized, only the first two of which have with certainty been grown in this country: (1) common buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench.), (2) Tartary buckwheat (F. tartaricum Gaertn.), and (3) notch-seeded buckwheat (F. emarginatum Meissn.). Tartary buckwheat grows more slender, its leaves are arrow-shaped, with shorter petioles than common buckwheat; its flowers are greenish or yellowish in racemes.' The hull of the grain is rough and its angles wavy. The grains are smaller than common buckwheat. It is cultivated in the cooler and more mountainous parts of Asia because it is hardier and will succeed where common buckwheat fails. It is cultivated in eastern Canada, Maine, and occasionally elsewhere. The grains of notch-jeeded buckwheat differ from this and the common buckwheat by having the angles or edges of the hull extended into wide, rounded margins or wings, thus making the total width of the grain greater, although the kernel is no larger. The hull is not rough but smooth, as in the case of common buckwheat, which it otherwise resembles very closely. Since no wild species has been reported, it may be a cultivated form of the latter. It is reported as cultivated in northeastern India and China.

576. Varieties. There are three types or principal varieties of common buckwheat raised in America: Japanese, silver hul,

I L. H. Bailey: Cyclopedia of Horticulture, p. 570.

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