Flower Friday – Camassia Quamash

The first Camassia to open in my garden are the Quamash – a petite flower, compared to the other four Camassia species. It also has the deepest blue flowers. Camassia are native to various parts of North America – usually the western part of the continent but there is one species (C. scilloides) with a native range in the east, including up to Ontario. The bulbs are small and I’ve been planting them in largish groupings, in less manicured parts of the yard and garden. In nature they prefer meadows that are moist to wet but they can also survive our dry summers.

The flower stalks in my garden are 8″ – 12″ high (20 – 30 cm)
The bright yellow anthers contrast perfectly with the deep blue petals.

These are small bulbs and relatively inexpensive – definitely worth planting one or many dozen. They’re appearing just as Hyacinths, most tulips and daffodils are fading and provide a dash of intrigue, a sprinkling of low to the ground, breathtaking colour that succeeds in drawing your eyes from the showy shrubs and trees now in bloom. All this, plus the bulbs are edible and were once an important part of indigenous peoples’ diet and trade.

14 Comments

  1. I wondered when I read “Quamash” whether that might be a word rooted in an indigenous language; now, I’m fairly sure it is. I think I might have seen a related species in a blog from Montana. It certainly isn’t a flower I’m familiar with, but that dark blue is gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I know I’ve seen photos of those from central Texas, but they’re shown in only one county that I’ve visited on the distribution maps. I do need to look through my archives from that one county. Sometimes I have an unidentified ‘something’ lurking around that I recognize only after someone else posts an image.

        Liked by 1 person

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