NAME: Blue Camas
OTHER COMMON NAMES: Camass / Camas Lily / Wild Hyacinth / Indian Hyacinth / Small Camas / Common Camas / Common Camash / Swamp Sego / Quamash
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Camassia Quamash
PLANT SEEDS: Fall / Cold stratify / Outdoors after frost / Indoors weeks before last frost
BLOOM TIME: April - June
HARDINESS ZONE: 3 - 9
PLANT HEIGHT: 12 - 18"
PLANT SPACING: 6 - 9"
LIGHT REQUIREMENTS: Sun
SOIL & WATER PREFERENCES: Average - Moist
QUANTITY: 30 Seeds
OTHER: The Blue Camas is native to the western US & Canada. The plants have bright green grass like foliage and showy 2” blue flowers with yellow anthers. The star shaped blooms attract bees, butterflies, & HUMMINGBIRDS. Thankfully though, the plants are deer, rabbit, & rodent resistant.
These tough little plants are able to grow well in a variety of conditions. They are often found in moist areas like along streambanks, etc, but also tolerate hot & dry conditions very well, & won’t let heavy clay soils stop them. Camas is often planted in groups, & can be grown in beds, borders, or containers, & is popular for naturalizing.
The Blue Camas produces bulbs … and from Wikipedia …
“Camas has been a food source for many native peoples in the western United States and Canada. After being harvested in the autumn, once the flowers have withered, the bulbs are pit-roasted or boiled. A pit-cooked camas bulb looks and tastes something like baked sweet potato, but sweeter, and with more crystalline fibers due to the presence of inulin in the bulbs - an oligosaccharide responsible for the copious flatulence caused by excessive consumption or consumption of undercooked bulbs. People have also dried the bulbs to then be pounded into flour.”
“While the bulbs of Camassia species are edible and nutritious, the white-flowered meadow death-camas (which is not in Camassia, but part of the genus Toxicoscordion that grows in the same areas) is toxic, and the bulbs are difficult to distinguish.” So please know what you are eating before doing so. If not, just look at it & enjoy the view :)
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