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Camassia

Camass
Liliaceae
Bulbs and bulblike plants, Perennials, Flowers

Most of these grassy perennials are native to moist meadows, marshes, and fields in Northern California and Pacific Northwest. Rosettes of grasslike leaves send up slender spikes of loosely spaced, starlike blossoms in spring.

Plant in fall after weather cools, setting bulbs 3–4 in. deep, 6 in. apart in good, moisture-retentive soil. Locate bulbs where they can remain undisturbed for many years. Because plants die down completely after bloom, set them where other plants will hide their yellowing leaves and fill in when leaves are gone. Bulbs can get by with less water during summer dormancy.

Camassia leichtlinii
Camassia leichtlinii

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Camassia leichtlinii

Large, handsome clusters of creamy white flowers on 4-ft.-tall stems. C. l. suksdorfii (often sold as C. l. ‘Coerulea’) has blue to deep blue-violet flowers. This subspecies’ variety ‘Blue Danube’ is deep blue. Varieties of the species include ‘Alba’ (C. l. leichtlinii), white with bluish tinge, and ‘Semiplena’, with creamy white semidouble blooms.

Camassia quamash
Camassia quamash

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Camassia quamash

Loose clusters of blue flowers on 1–2-ft. stems. Flowers of ‘Orion’ are deeper blue, those of ‘San Juan Form’ are deeper still.

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