Camassia – Quamash – Camas – Beargrass –
There are about 6 species of tuft,, bulbous perennials, in this genus. They occur in damp fertile meadowland in North America. The bulb was boiled and eaten by native Americans. Large, ovoid to spherical bulbs give rise to erect, narrow, coarse, keeled, channeled, gray-green, basal leaves. From late spring to summer it bears loose or dense, terminal racemes of large, showy, star shaped or cup, clear blue, purple or white flowers each with 6 tepals, atop of leafless stems, the dead tepals sometimes persist after capsules develop. Grow in a border or a wildflower meadow, or in containers. May take five years to produce flowers. Good long lasting cut flowers.
Plant bulbs 4″ deep in autumn, in moist but well drained, fertile, loamy humus rich soil in sun or partial shade. Do not all to become waterlogged.
Prone to leaf smut, and a few fungal leaf spots.
C. quamash var. brevifolia – Cesulenta – Quamash – Swamp Sego – This edible, bulbous perennial grows 8-32″ tall. It produces linear dull, gray-green leaves, 8-20″ long. In late spring and early summer it bears racemes to 12″ long, of shallowly cup or star shaped deep shade of blue-violet flowers atop of 12-36″ tall stems. Rapidly forms large clumps and is easily naturalized in grass, provided the soil in moist.