Camassia quamash Spikes of slender-petaled starry blossoms do well around ponds, in moist areas of light woods and the garden. Silvery medium-blue 6-petaled cup-shaped flowers on strong stalks.
Also called Camas, Quamash and Wild Hyacinth, this North American native was a dietary staple of the Nez Perce, Cree and Blackfoot tribes. Camas comes from the Nez Perce word for ‘sweet.’ Sacajawea was said to have dug the roots to help keep the Lewis & Clark expedition alive, 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. Sometimes called Camassia esculenta.
12–16" tall. Late Spring to Early Summer blooms, Z3-8, 5cm/up bulbs.
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The Royal General Bulbgrowers Association in Holland (Koninklijke Algemeene Vereeniging voor Bloembollencultuur, or KAVB) gives this large group of flowers the name 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.
Descriptions and Codes
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