Camassia quamashSilvery medium-blue 6-petaled cup-shaped flowers on strong stalks. Also called Indian Hyacinth, Quamash and Wild Hyacinth, this North American native was a dietary staple of the Nez Perce, Cree and Blackfoot tribes. The common name Camas and the Latin name Camassia both come from the Nez Perce word for ‘sweet.’ Formerly C. esculenta, and listed on Slow Foods’ Ark of Taste.
Likes sun to partial shade. Blooms after most spring flowers are gone but before early summer flowers peak. Deer and rodent resistant. Prefers moist fertile soil around ponds, in light woods, or in the garden, and has the potential to naturalize.
12–16" tall. Late Spring to Early Summer blooms, Z3-8. 5cm/up bulbs.
Novelties and Specialties
The Royal General Bulbgrowers Association in Holland (Koninklijke Algemeene Vereeniging voor Bloembollencultuur, or KAVB) puts this large group of diverse flowers into a boring catch-all category: Miscellaneous Bulbs. The expensive catalogs call them specialty or accent bulbs; some call them minor or dwarf bulbs (even though some of the fritillaries are huge!); Louise Beebe Wilder covered most of them in her 1936 classic Adventures with Hardy Bulbs. Whatever you call them, most are uncommonly sweet, delicate, colorful, and completely welcome in spring.