Summary of flat top buckwheat and its traditional use

Kumeyaay name: hamill

Flat top buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum)

 

Flat top buckwheat is a common, shrubby flower that is native to California and northwestern Mexico. The plant grows readily on dry washes and slopes in a range of plant communities (chaparral, scrub-grasslands, conifer woodlands). This plant is incredibly important to the local butterfly and bee community. In fact, this buckwheat is the predominant source of native honey for southern California pollinators. This nectar is especially appealing for honey bees.

Kumeyaay people boil these buckwheat flowers to alleviate stomach problems. A decoction of these flowers is given to babies that are suffering from diarrhea. A decoction is also used to help adults in terms of cardiovascular health. A decoction is the extract created after plant material is boiled or heated.

 

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Flat top buckwheat flower spikes

Photo credit: Stan Shebs GFDL, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons