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Camassia quamash (Camas)

Common Camassia, Bear's Grass, Camas, Camash, Camass, Camosh, North American Wild Hyacinth, Small Camas, Common Camass, Swamp Sego, Quamash, Camassia esculenta, Camassia teapeae

Camassia quamash, Common Camassia, Bear's Grass, Camas, Camash, Camass, Camosh, North American Wild Hyacinth,  Quamash, Blue Flowers, Blue Camas

Camassia quamash (Camas) is a clump-forming bulbous perennial with upright racemes packed with dozens of star-shaped, sky blue to deep blue flowers, 3 in. across (7 cm), adorned with 6 showy tepals, a green center, and bright yellow stamens. They attract bumblebees, mason bees, hoverflies, and beetles. Borne on stout, willowy stems, they open sequentially from bottom to top for a long-lasting display. Blooming in late spring to early summer, they rise atop a pretty foliage clump of long, narrow, grass-like, bright green leaves. A striking feature in the garden, this useful bulb adds something different to the borders at a time when the summer perennials have not yet hit their stride. If the plants are happy, they gently reseed into the surrounding area.

  • Growing up to 1-2 ft. high (30-60 cm), this beauty naturalizes easily and will return year after year!
  • Easily grown in full sun to part shade in fertile, humus-rich, moist, well-drained soils. Prefers full sun. Needs 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. Clay soil, dry soil, and wet soil tolerant.
  • Generally pest and disease-free
  • Stunning in beds and borders, cottage gardens, and wildflower meadows. Spectacular in large sweeping drifts. Plant in groups (at least 10 to 15 bulbs) for best visual impact. Excellent as cut flowers.
  • Mixes beautifully with other late spring flowering bulbs and creates stunning combinations with pink or white Delphiniums, Peonies, or Irises.
  • To be planted in the fall, 4-6 in. deep (10-15 cm) and 6 in. apart (15 cm).
  • Propagate by seed sown in pots in a cold frame as soon as the seed is ripe. Remove offsets when dormant in winter.
  • Cut back faded flower spike.
  • Native across the Pacific Northwest and Northern California.

Requirements

Hardiness 4 - 11
Heat Zones 1 - 11
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17
Plant Type Bulbs, Perennials
Plant Family Asparagaceae
Genus Camassia
Common names Wild Hyacinth, Camash, Camas
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 6" (15cm)
Depth 4" - 6"
(10cm - 15cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Native Plants United States, Rocky Mountains, California, Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, Montana
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Clay Soil, Wet Soil
Attracts Bees
Garden Uses Banks And Slopes, Beds And Borders, Rain Gardens, Underplanting Roses And Shrubs
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Camassia scilloides (Wild Hyacinth)
Camassia leichtlinii subsp. suksdorfii Caerulea Group (Camas)
Camassia cusickii (Cusick’s Camass)
Camassia ‘Blue Heaven’ (Camas)
Camassia quamash ‘Blue Melody’ (Camas)
Camassia leichtlinii ‘Alba’ (Camas)

Recommended Companion Plants

Euphorbia palustris (Marsh Spurge)
Lupinus ‘The Chatelaine’ (Lupine)
Tulipa ‘China Pink’ (Lily-Flowered Tulip)
Allium hollandicum ‘Purple Sensation’ (Ornamental Onion)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

Stunning Blue Flowers to Enhance Your Garden’s Beauty
Camassia (Camas)
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.
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Requirements

Hardiness 4 - 11
Heat Zones 1 - 11
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17
Plant Type Bulbs, Perennials
Plant Family Asparagaceae
Genus Camassia
Common names Wild Hyacinth, Camash, Camas
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 6" (15cm)
Depth 4" - 6"
(10cm - 15cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Native Plants United States, Rocky Mountains, California, Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, Montana
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Clay Soil, Wet Soil
Attracts Bees
Garden Uses Banks And Slopes, Beds And Borders, Rain Gardens, Underplanting Roses And Shrubs
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
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Do I Need?
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Camassia (Camas)
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