Camas

photo by Andrew McKinlay CC BY-NC

Camas has spikes of blue flowers at the end of tall (12-28 in) stalks with clusters of grass-like leaves (4-24 in) at the base of the plant. It carpets moist grassy slopes and meadows at lower elevations and flowers from April to June.

Blue Camas is widespread in the Pacific Northwest. Other species can be found in the western and southeastern United States. Color may vary from white to purple.

Could it be? Smooth Camas (White Camas) and Death Camas (Mountain Death Camas), found in western North America, are unrelated and poisonous. Smooth Camas has white flowers with a green heart at the base of each flower and is slightly poisonous. Death Camas has similar flowers but grows at higher altitudes and is very poisonous.

Did you know? Elk, Deer, and Moose graze on Camas leaves, while gophers have been known to nibble on the bulbs and then move them to a different area.

See Also: Beargrass, Blazing Star, False Solomon's Seal, Fireweed, Goldenrod, Purple Prairie Clover, Red Paintbrush