Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.
Search native plant database:
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Camassia quamash (Pursh) Greene
Small camas, Common camass, Swamp sego
USDA Symbol: caqu2
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
A bulbous plant with basal clusters of narrow, grass-like, bright green leaves. The flowering racemes are 1-3 ft. tall with dozens of showy, star-like, sky- to deep-blue flowers. Light to deep blue-violet, star-shaped flowers in a raceme; several narrow, grass-like leaves grow mostly near the base. The three sepals and three petals all share the blue color.
This species is sometimes so frequent as to color entire meadows blue-violet. Indians pit-roasted the bland bulbs with other leaves, and also boiled them, which yielded a good syrup. Another similar species is Leichtlins Camas (C. leichtlinii), which grows only west of the Cascade Mountains, from southern British Columbia to the southern portion of Californias Sierra Nevada, and has radially symmetrical flowers.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Blue
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun
CA , ID , MT , NV , OR , UT , WA , WY Canada: BC Native Distribution:
B.C. to CA, e. to s.w. Alt., MT, WY & UT Native Habitat:
Moist areas, often where dry by late spring USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
High Light Requirement:
Sun Soil Moisture:
Moist CaCO3 Tolerance:
Low Soil Description:
Heavy, winter- & spring-moist soils. Conditions Comments:
Camass eventually goes dormant and should then have less water, but not fully dry soil. Considered among the easiest of and showiest of native
Elk, deer & moose reportedly graze the plant in early spring. Use Food: Bulb
favored by indigenous peoples for food. Conspicuous Flowers:
PropagationDescription: Propagate from offsets or seed. Sow seed in a sealable container and refrigerate for 3 months or until germination starts. Germination is often poor. Seedlings take 3-4 years to flower.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Native, non-invasive plant seeds for each region in U.S.
June 09, 2006
I need to identify a wildflower from each region that we can package in custom packaging to use as giveaways at our member zoos and aquariums. Our project this year is called Conservation Made Simple...
view the full question and answer
From the National Suppliers Directory
According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
Oregon Native Plant Nursery
- Woodburn, OR
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Native Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
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
Record Modified: 2008-10-19
Research By: TWC Staff