Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Blooms of redflower buckwheat

高嶺Takane Ruby buckwheat variety has red flowers, unlike the ordinary buckwheat flowers in white.   Seeds of buckwheat with red flowers were brought in from the Himalayas (at the altitude of 3800 meters) by a professor of Shinshu University, improved so that they can grow in Japan, and named “Takane Ruby.”

Takane Ruby flowers were blooming, painting the whole area in pink to red. 

The color of the flowers deepens from pale pink to ruby red with the time.

The only place Takane Ruby is cultivated in Nara is Sanyaso no Sato in Mitani of Yamato Highlands, Sakurai city.  Sanyaso no Sato is a NPO which purchased neglected “satoyama,” which is the mostly disappeared Japanese settlement pattern of living in upland valleys and cultivating lower slopes, and works for its conservation with experimental trials.   

Buckwheat is one of the healthiest and the most versatile whole grains. Despite its name, it's not related to wheat at all and is gluten-free.  It is a popular substitute for wheat for those who have allergy to wheat.   How is buckwheat used in your country?  In Japan, a very common use is “soba”, buckwheat noodle.  Buckwheat tea and buckwheat cookies are also popular.

On our way to Sanyaso no Sato, I got attracted by these roadside flowers below.  They are Polygonum thunbergii, or 溝蕎麦 (mizo-soba) in Japanese which literally means “ditch-buckwheat”.  They are not buckwheat but a family of Polygonum (蓼) and was named "mizo-soba" because they look like buckwheat.  “They grow on wet grassy places in lowland and mountains all over Japan. “  (Source, here and here)


Polygonum thunbergii, or 溝蕎麦

More about buckwheat and white buckwheat flowers: Buckwheat flowers in full bloom


  1. Absolutely beautiful blossoms. I have a buckwheat pillow purchased long ago before they were very popular here. Now I know what the buckwheat looks like when it grows.

  2. Dear Yoko - I had no idea that buckwheat looked like that - such a pretty little flower and growing so prolifically. I understand that it is a very healthy product and good for all kinds of things such as diabetes and cardiovascular problems.
    The main product that it is used in here, is in Muesli breakfast cereal.

  3. I didn't know pink buckwheat flower though white buckwheat's stem is red .It's very pretty. I visited Kasa in Sakurai city in September. But they were little plants. I didn't know they spread seeds in Summer and they bloom in October. After harvest, I'd like to go eat them there.

  4. まあ~~!一面に咲き誇る赤い蕎麦の花。見事ですね。ピンク赤の入り混じった花畑のそれぞれの写真を見せて頂き、Stardustさんらしいなあと思いました。里山がこのようによみがえったことはすばらしいですね。道端に咲く白い蕎麦もまた愛らしいです。
    Green Tomato

  5. 道端でみる可憐な金平糖に似た野草は何だろうと思ってました。ミゾソバと言うんですね。

    1. 高嶺ルビーで打ったそばは、写真で見る限り、普通の蕎麦と同じ色ですよ。コシも風味も強く野性味のある味だそうです。食べてみたいですね。信州伊那高原の赤そばが有名なようです。

    2. Today I have learned a new thing - that buckwheat is not really a kind of wheat. I never thought about it before. I must have eaten it but don't remember doing so. Your post has made me decide to try some!

    3. I learned European readers ate buckwheat pancake from their comment. Please try it.

  6. Beautiful pink clouds of buckwheat! I want to try buckwheat noodles made from pink ones.
    The other day I found a lot of Polygonum thunbergii!! Can you guess where?
    It is a wonderful news to hear NPO has been making a great effort to conserve "satoyama".

    1. ミゾソバは昔はどこにでも生えていたんでしょうね。 Keikoさんがご覧になったのは、もしかして明日香ですか?

  7. How magical to see these beautiful fields! Your shots are gorgeous.

  8. Beautiful flowers, and they paint the landscapes a wonderful colour. I didn't know there were two different kinds of buckwheat, thanks for your informative post.

  9. I had no idea that is what buckwheat looks like. It's so pretty!

  10. I miss soba. All the scenes are really breathtaking. You have a great skill to capture the flowers. :)

  11. how beautiful! we just had buckwheat pancakes at home:-)) I did not know they have 2 different colours...thanks for this beauty+info dear Yoko!

  12. That is truly magical. The pinks....the reds.....that is something we don't see here. Gorgeous fields of art. Beautifully captured Yoko!

  13. 赤蕎麦、、、初めて知りました。白い蕎麦の花の性楚さとはまた違った趣のする蕎麦畑ですね。遠いヒマラヤ原産というのも面白いです。日本種に改良されて根付いたのは素晴らしい。

  14. Beautiful pictures and interesting write up...

  15. Gorgeous and informative as always, Yoko! It's interesting to know that the buckwheat seeds first came to Japan from the Indian Himalayas. I guess that the professor must have bought them from the Valley of flowers, home to a wide variety of rare flower species, but I am not sure. I am now wondering if I had soba in Nara.

    We, Hindus in India, generally eat buckwheat on some special fasting days when eating of cereals and grains is restricted. On those days we prepare buckwheat pancakes and have them with potato curry or curd. I like its taste but I never did care to know how its flower or seeds might look like, they are so very beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

    Wish you happy days, Yoko :)

  16. I wish I were there, in the middle of that field of flowers spectacular.
    I said this still true?
    I love nature, fields and flowers and your beautiful
    photos give me energy.
    and happy new day to you.

  17. Although I don’t recall seeing the plant look as pretty as in your pictures, buckwheat does grow in my part of the world. People do enjoy buckwheat pancakes here. Since the processed plant is free of gluten folks with certain conditions and allergies prefer it to regular wheat. I’ve not seen the red variety but it looks elegant flowing in the fields. :)

  18. Wiedziałam, że ma białe kwiaty. Nie wiedziałam, że są też czerwone. Pięknie wyglądają kwitnące pola w tym kolorze. Ja bardzo lubię kaszę gryczaną. Pozdrawiam.
    I knew no white flowers. I did not know that there are also red. Blooming fields look beautiful in that color. I really like buckwheat. Yours.

  19. おはようございます。とても美しい写真です。赤蕎麦は信州だけだと思ってました。 ミゾソバも愛らしいです。

  20. Thank you for another informative and enjoyably post Yoko! Your photos are superb like always! The buckwheat meadows look stunningly beautiful, and calm and peaceful too. I can hear the a wealth of insects buzzing and hovering above them. And I wonder - is there scent too?
    It is always a pleasure to visit your blog! :-) Create yourself a great weekend!

  21. I've never seen the flowering of buckwheat plants! It's not very common in our corner of planet Earth! I like the food one can make from buckwheat seeds because it doesn't contain gluten. As far as I know the Russian cuisine uses buckwheat commonly.
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful impressions of the flourishing buckwheat field! Have a great and pleasurable weekend!

  22. I've heard the term, "buckwheat," all of my life but don't think I had a clue what it looked like. The colors are magnificent as the beauty of buckwheat sweeps across the landscape!

    I'm on a wheat-free diet (not gluten-free) so I guess buckwheat would work just fine!

    Looks like your weather is still very nice also.

    Best wishes for a wonderful weekend!

  23. I've taken buckwheat noodles in Japaneses restaurants but never knew what they were - thought that it is a variety of wheat. Thanks for the info so I now know that it has a beautiful lineage - the flowers and the berries. Your pics are beautiful as always.

  24. Hello Yoko,
    seems to spring! in your photos ... the "Takane Ruby." reminded me of a fairy cloak that had fallen asleep in the field ... and the truth is that the buckwheat did not know ...
    Thanks for all the info Yoko, it's wonderful to learn new things!
    best regards

  25. º°♪♫♫
    Muito bonito!!!
    Bom fim de semana!
    °º♪ Brasil ♫♫♫

  26. These various shades of pink are stunning,you seem to have carpets of rich colour for all seasons. I've eaten Italian buckwheat noodles,they have an interesting texture and flavour. Apparently it's grown in Northern Italy.

    Enjoy your week Yoko,


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  28. Hello Yoko, in Denmark we make porridge, "boghvedegrød". Upon the island of Funen (in the town Fåborg) is "Selskabet til boghvedegrødens fremme" ( = The society of promoting the buckwheat porridge)Honorable members are appointed each year, it's both a serious and humorous society. People on Funen are known for their good humour.
    I like buckwheat porridge btw. And it is healthy. I haven't read the comments here - I'm a little late in commenting, so I don't know if someone has told you about this society before, Yoko ? ´)

    The photos are lovely. The buckwheat we use in DK has white flowers.

    Grethe ´)

  29. Yokoさん こんにちは! 
    この度は、とても珍しい高嶺の花、ルビー色の 蕎麦の花なんですね。
    (ノ*゚▽゚)ノ 乙女の白魚のような指に似合う、まるで可憐な宝石のようです。



  30. Lovely post filled with interesting information! Thank you for teaching me something new today. I never knew what a buckwheat plant looked like until I viewed this wonderful post. Oh my goodness, your photographs are glorious, filled with vibrant color and stunning detail. Yoko, you truly have a fabulous eye for beauty.

  31. Both the red flower buckwheat and the white buckwheat put on a beautiful display. I'm wondering if I could grow buckwheat in my wildflower garden. I'll have to research it further. It looks like it blooms prolifically. My mother loved buckwheat pancakes.

  32. Next time I eat buckwheat porridge (kasha) I'm going to imagine these beautiful pink flowers. ^.^ In Russia we make kasha and also buckwheat pancakes. Japanese soba is available in shops as well. Finns used to eat more buckwheat, now it's a bit forgotten, although buckwheat flour is still common. I like buckwheat, it's yummy and so healthy! It has all essential amino acids making it a good source of protein for vegetarians.


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