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CAMASSIA cusickii

Image of Camassia cusickii

Jesse Saylor

Family

Liliaceae

Botanical Name

CAMASSIA cusickii

Plant Common Name

Camassia, Quamash

General Description

Native to meadows and pine forests of northeastern Oregon and central Ohio, this hardy bulbous perennial bears steepled clusters of starry flowers atop tall leafless stems in late spring. The pale lilac-blue blooms have six pointed segments. As they wither the segments do not clasp the seed capsule, as do those of Camassia leichtlinii. The clumps of strap-shaped, keeled, bright green leaves go dormant in summer. The leaves and flower stalks grow from large bulbs with dark tunics. The cultivar 'Zwanenburg' has dark blue flowers.

Plant the bulbs three times as deep as they are wide. They grow and flower best in full to partial sun in well-drained, humus-rich soil. Though this plant prefers steady moisture in late winter and spring it dislikes wet soil and tolerates summer drought. Narrow in stature, it looks best when planted in groups. Given favorable conditions and left undisturbed, this camas persists and increases for years. Pair it with plants such as hardy geranium that will cover the withering leaves.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17

  • Plant Type

    Bulb or Corm or Tuber

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    36"-56" / 91.4cm - 142.2cm

  • Width

    4"-6" / 10.2cm - 15.2cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Northwestern United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Blue, Violet, Ivory

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Foundation, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No