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Flaigg, Norman G.
Camassia scilloides (Raf.) Cory
Atlantic camas, Wild hyacinth
Synonyms: Camassia esculenta, Quamasia hyacinthina
USDA Symbol: casc5
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Grass-like leaves in a tight, basal clump surround a 1-2 ft. blossom stalk topped by lavender flowers in 5-7 in. spikes. A leafless stem with lavender to blue flowers in an elongated, loose-flowered cluster rising from an underground bulb. The sweet-scented flowers have six, petal-like segments and protruding, yellow stamens.
The bulbs of this plant were used by Native Americans and early explorers for food. The flower somewhat resembles the cultivated Easter Hyacinth, in the genus Hyacinthus. Grape Hyacinth (Muscari botryoides), which occasionally escapes from cultivation, has blue, ball-like flower clusters resembling bunches of grapes.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf:
Flowers in 7 inch spikes Fruit:
Black Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
AL , AR , DC , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MD , MI , MO , MS , NC , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , WI , WV Canada: ON Native Distribution:
SC to e. TX, n. to w. PA, s. Ont., s. WI & e. KS Native Habitat:
Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannahs, Woodlands edge, Opening, Open woodlands USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Moist, well-drained soils. Limestone-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Conditions Comments: Looks best in masses – at least three to a clump. Green in spring only – dormant the rest of the year.
Showy, Blooms ornamental, Shortgrass meadow, Perennial
garden Use Wildlife:
Nectar-Bees, Nectar-Butterflies Use Food:
The bulbs of this plant were used by Native
Americans and early explorers for food. Conspicuous Flowers:
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Description: Propagate by seed sown in fall or division of clumps. Remove offsets from larger bulbs and plant them separately. Do not plant small bulbs more than 2 in. deep.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
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Record Modified: 2012-10-03
Research By: TWC Staff