An astounding number of species populate the wild buckwheat genus Eriogonum — more than 250, according to the Cal Flora website. And, because of their propensity to hybridize, active speciation continues as we speak. There are species for almost every letter of the alphabet, from A (E. abertianum) to Z (E. zionis).
This article will discuss characteristics common to all of the wild buckwheats, and then focus on a landscape beauty, E. giganteum, known familiarly as St. Catherine’s Lace or giant buckwheat.
But first, let’s address a common question: Do the wild buckwheats native to North America supply the gluten-free buckwheat flour used in pancakes and other baked goods?