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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Cross-Cultural Folk Classifications of Ethnobotanically Improtant Geophytes in Southern Oregon and Northern California


A confusing variety of common names has been applied to "root foods" used by Native American peoples in the Far West. This analysis references many of these names to current scientific nomenclature. Such analysis provides a foundation for a better understanding of the role of these foods in the economies and cultures of indigenous peoples. This report concentrates on ethnographically recorded species in the Oregon-California border region, although the framework is more broadly applicable.

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