Camassia quamash

quamash

camas

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

This easy to grow native bulb produces showy spikes of bright blue to violet-purple flowers in May. The star-shaped blooms are held on a willowy stem that grows 1 to 2 feet tall and are brilliant when planted en masse. Native to moist meadows, marshes and fields, quamash adapts readily to garden conditions. If the plants are happy, they will gently reseed into the surrounding area.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: bulb

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 2 ft. 0 in. (0.61 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 1 ft. 6 in. (0.46 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 10

Flower Color: purple

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun or light to open shade

Water Requirements: drought tolerant when established

Seasonal Interest: mid-spring flowers

Wildlife Associations: bees, butterflies

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: silver, chartreuse, orange

Great Color Partners: pink, rose, lavender

Culture Notes
Camas grows best in full sun or light to open shade in rich well-drained to moist soils. It will tolerate a site that has standing water in the winter if the site dries in the summer and will also tolerate heavy clay soils. The bulbs multiply over time and can seed into the area to create impressive plantings. Plant the bulbs in fall or as potted plants in the spring. Old foliage can be cut back as soon as it starts yellowing in early summer.