A member of the agave (Agavaceae) family, common camas is a spring-flowering bulbous perennial wildflower that is beautiful enough for the most high-end ornamental garden, yet adaptable and ecologically important enough to be included in habitat restoration projects within its range. Dark blue, purple, or lavender, star-shaped flowers open sequentially (bottom to top) in an upright terminal raceme, on stems that reach 1′-2.5′ tall. The long, grass-like leaves rise from the clumping bulbs and wither after flowering. A lover of moist conditions, especially winter through late spring, common camas can dry out in the late summer months when the bulbs go dormant. In the wild, common camas is typically found growing in vernally moist meadows, grasslands, and on moist slopes or along rivers and streams. Tolerant of a wide variety of soil types, including clay, as long as there is adequate moisture in the spring. Camas provides valuable, early-season nectar and pollen for a variety of native pollinators. Camas was a staple food for many Native American tribes. The bulbs were harvested in the fall and either pit roasted or boiled and eaten, or dried and pounded into a flour. Prefers full sun to part shade. This plant is similar to its relative, large camas (Camassia leichtlinii), but is generally smaller.
Seed Germination Instructions
60-90 days cold-moist stratification. Sow outside in fall to late winter.