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Zigadenus elegans (Mountain death camas)
Muller, Thomas L.

Zigadenus elegans

Zigadenus elegans Pursh

Mountain Death Camas, White Camas

Liliaceae (Lily Family)


USDA Symbol: ZIEL2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

A plant with long, basal, grass-like leaves and cream or greenish-white, bowl-shaped flowers in a raceme or branched flower cluster.

The highly poisonous Meadow Deathcamas (Z. venenosus) grows throughout most of the western United States. It has petal-like segments about 1/4" (6 mm) long, the inner 3 slightly longer and with a short stalk at the base, and stamens about as long as the segments.


From the Image Gallery

18 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 32 inches tall.
Fruit: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Yellow , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AK , AZ , CO , IA , ID , IL , IN , MI , MN , MO , MT , NC , ND , NE , NM , NV , NY , OH , OR , PA , SD , TN , TX , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: MB , NB , ON , QC , SK
Native Distribution: Western Canada; south to western Washington, eastern Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.
Native Habitat: Mountain meadows, rocky slopes, and forests.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil Description: Sandy


Warning: All parts of this wildflower contain toxic chemicals (alkaloids) said to be more potent than strychnine. Just two bulbs can be fatal. Symptoms include salivating, vomiting, diarrhea, lowered body temperature and a slow heartbeat. (Kershaw)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Additional resources

USDA: Find Zigadenus elegans in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Zigadenus elegans in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Zigadenus elegans


Record Modified: 2021-01-28
Research By: TWC Staff

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