Nuttall's deathcamas, Death Camas, Poison onion, Nuttall's death camas
USDA Symbol: ZINU
USDA Native Status:
This common prairie flower grows 1–2 feet tall and has long, narrow leaves near the bottom of the plant. The stout stems grow out of a large, black-coated bulb, which is poisonous, as are all parts of the plant, even when dry. Sheep are often poisoned by it. Flowers are cream-colored, 1/2 inch across, growing around the top of the stem in a round-topped cluster. The stamens have large yellow anthers.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Size Class: 1-3 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr
DistributionUSA: AR , KS , LA , MO , OK , TN , TX
Native Distribution: Kansas east to Missouri and Tennessee, south to Louisiana, west to Texas, and north to Oklahoma.
Native Habitat: Prairies and open woodlands.
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Conditions Comments: Poisonous leaves arise from a dark bulb. Said to be rare because Indians would weed them from their Camus plots. Death Camus (Zigadenus nuttallii) vegatative and flower growth is very similar to the edible Camus (Camassia sp.); great care should be taken to become familiar with Death Camus as all parts of the plant are poisonous.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Deer Resistant: High
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
BibliographyBibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Recommended Species Lists
Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.View Recommended Species page
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Zigadenus nuttallii in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Zigadenus nuttallii in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Zigadenus nuttallii
MetadataRecord Modified: 2014-04-09
Research By: LAL