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Camassia scilloides (Wild Hyacinth)

Atlantic Camas, Wild Hyacinth, Camassia esculenta, Quamasia hyacinthina

Camassia scilloides, Atlantic Camas, Wild Hyacinth, Camassia esculenta, Quamasia hyacinthina, White Flowers

Camassia scilloides (Wild Hyacinth) is a clump-forming bulbous perennial with upright racemes, 4-12 in. long (10-30 cm), of up to 20 sweet-scented, star-shaped, lavender to very pale blue, almost white flowers with contrasting yellow stamens. Blooming for about a month in spring to early summer, the flowers open sequentially from bottom to top. Rich in nectar, they attract bees and butterflies. Borne on naked flowering stalks, they rise atop a pretty foliage clump of long, narrow, grass-like, bright green leaves. The leaves turn yellow after blooming and by midsummer the entire plant has faded into the earth. The bulbs are edible and were an important food source for some Native American tribes and early European settlers. 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. Wild Hyacinth is a wonderful addition to both prairie and woodland gardens. If the plants are happy, they gently reseed into the surrounding area.

  • Grows up to 1-3 ft. tall (30-90 cm) and 1-2 ft. wide (30-60 cm).
  • 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. Drought and clay soil tolerant.
  • Stunning in wildflower meadows, cottage gardens or borders. Spectacular in large sweeping drifts. For best visual impact, plant in groups (at least 10 to 15 bulbs). Excellent cut flowers.
  • Generally pest and disease free.
  • To be planted in fall, 4-6 in. deep (10-15 cm) and 6 in. apart (15 cm).
  • Propagate by seed sown in fall or division of clumps.
  • Native to central and eastern North America.

Requirements

Hardiness 4 - 8
Plant Type Bulbs, Perennials
Plant Family Asparagaceae
Genus Camassia
Common names Wild Hyacinth, Camas, Camash
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 1' - 3'
(30cm - 90cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 6" (15cm)
Depth 4" - 6"
(10cm - 15cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Native Plants Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Midwest, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Northeast, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Southeast, Southwest, Tennessee, Texas, United States, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Tolerance Drought, Clay Soil
Attracts Bees, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
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Alternative Plants to Consider

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

Recommended Companion Plants

Silene virginica (Fire Pink)
Dodecatheon meadia (Shooting Star)

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 - 8
Plant Type Bulbs, Perennials
Plant Family Asparagaceae
Genus Camassia
Common names Wild Hyacinth, Camas, Camash
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 1' - 3'
(30cm - 90cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 6" (15cm)
Depth 4" - 6"
(10cm - 15cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Native Plants Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Midwest, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Northeast, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Southeast, Southwest, Tennessee, Texas, United States, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Tolerance Drought, Clay Soil
Attracts Bees, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Camassia (Camas)
Guides with
Camassia (Camas)
Not sure which Camassia (Camas) to pick?
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