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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - September 18, 2007

From: Edmonton, AB
Region: Canada
Topic: Invasive Plants, Planting
Title: Possibility of camas being raised in Edmonton, Alberta
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Edmonton, Alberta, and wish to find out how "Camassia (leichtlinii white) will fare in this zone.

ANSWER:

Camassia leichtlinii (large camas) is a native of North America and flourishes generally west of the Sierras and Cascades from British Columbia to Southern California. Being very Texan, we don't know much about the zone and general climactic conditions in Alberta-sorry. However, you can get more information from this Missouri Botanical Garden site on the care and propagation of the camas. We did go to this website on Plant Hardiness Zones in Canada, and discovered that Edmonton is considered Zone 3a. We're thinking, since the Camassia leichtlinii occurs as far south as Southern California, that most of its appearances in Washington and British Columbia are in the more temperate zones along the coast, where the hardiness zone may range as high as 7a. If you have a sheltered microclimate in your garden, you might be able to grow this plant, if it's worth trying for you. And it seems unlikely, since it will be growing outside its normal zone, that it will escape from cultivation and become invasive. That is always a concern on our part at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, not only that planting of natives be encouraged but also that planting, even of native plants, that might become invasive be discouraged.

 

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