Alphabetical Plant Listing

Camassia (Camas)

Camas, Wild Hyacinth, Camass, Quamash, Leichtlin’s Camass, Camassia leichtlinii, Camassia cusickii, Camassia quamash (Camassia)


Native to North America, Camassias (Camas) are bulbous perennials with long racemes of up to 100 star-shaped flowers, adorned with six slender loose petals, a green center and bright yellow stamens. The flowers vary in color from pale lilac or white to deep purple or blue-violet. Borne on stout, willowy stems, they open sequentially from bottom to top for a long lasting display. Blooming in late spring to early summer, these spring-flowering bulbs rise atop a foliage clump of linear green leaves. A striking feature in the garden, Camassias add something different to the borders at a time when the summer perennials have not yet hit their stride. Left undisturbed, they are vigorous growers and will increase freely in damp soil.

  • Growing up to 2-3 ft. tall (60-90 cm), Camassias naturalize easily and come back year after year.
  • Easily grown in full sun to part shade in fertile, humus-rich, moist, well-drained soils. They prefer full sun. Need regular moisture during the growing season, but will tolerate drier conditions after bloom as the plants head for summer dormancy. Intolerant of waterlogging and may need some protection from frost in cold areas
  • Ignored by deer and rodents, Camassias are generally pest and disease free.
  • Stunning in beds and borders, cottage gardens, wildflower meadows. Spectacular in large sweeping drifts. For best visual impact, plant in groups (at least 10 to 15 bulbs). Excellent as cut flowers.
  • To be planted in fall, 4-6 in. deep (10-15 cm) and 6 in. apart (15 cm).

Guide Information

Hardiness 3 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 8
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B
Plant Type Bulbs, Perennials
Plant Family Camassia - Camas
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit
Landscaping Ideas Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 3 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 8
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B
Plant Type Bulbs, Perennials
Plant Family Camassia - Camas
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit
Landscaping Ideas Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
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