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Buckwheat…an important food source

Another flower from Craters of the Moon National Monument is the Craters-of-the-Moon Wild Buckwheat, Eriogonum ovalifolium var. focarium. It is classified as a sensitive species and is only known to occur in Butte County Idaho.

Buckwheats are common across many landscapes. They were an important food source for early inhabitants of the region around the Craters. Archaeological research has traced Human occupation of this area back more than ten thousand years.

Archaeologists recognize the earliest inhabitants of the area as the Bitterroot culture. They settled here, perhaps about 8000 years ago. These forerunners of the modern northern Shoshoni Indians lived in family bands and foraged the lands for the seeds of this plant which they ground into a flour.