My personal introduction to wild buckwheats was in 2005, the year I instigated a native plant domestication project at the University of Idaho’s Aberdeen Research and Extension Center. In the process of accumulating research materials, I collected seed of several buckwheat species in the mountains of central Idaho and established plants in evaluation plots on the research station where I work. “They’re awfully slow growing,”was my initial response as I inspected one-year-old sulphur-flower buckwheat plants in my evaluation plots. Following
a second year of growth – and the appearance of a few flowers – my opinion improved markedly and I began to watch the plants closely.
By the end of the third growing season, my thoughts had evolved along the lines of: “How can anyone find satisfaction in life without cultivating at least one outstanding buckwheat.” Many times since, I have wondered why buckwheats continue to escape recognition within horticultural circles. I’m always pleased when knowledgeable NARGS members beat the drum for the buckwheats and so this article is written to provide some information and education about this intriguing group of plants.