Choice Bulb Farms

Camassia       Back to Plants

    camassia
Bulb Three basic types, all have true bulbs
All have a papery husk or series of husks as a shell, from light brown to almost black depending on soil type and speed with which they have ripened off, they can be stored similar to daffodils as dry bulbs. All will naturalize well. They are all native here on the west coast, coming in a great many different colors - all bluish, purplish white, since they rapidly interbreed. The types that I have for sale were brought in from Holland some years ago and are all from a commercial source. These are also called “shooting stars”. They make a decent cut flower though a little messy (dry flower petals drop off).

Leichtlinii bulb is pear-shaped and fairly large
Leichtlinii is the tallest, from 3 to 5 feet tall, large narrow blue/green leaves come in a whorl out of the ground the flower stem appears 3 -4 weeks after the first leaves show it also has some small green leaves attaches to the stem, the flowerscape is candle-shaped with from 20 to 60 bright star-shaped flowers, start flowering from the bottom to top.
Leichtlinii is clear light blue

Cusickii is a more broad round bulb
Cusickii is dark blue and somewhat shorter, Alba is white with a a little bluish cast to it, the semi-double type is more cream/white and not quite as vigorous but more flower stems and smaller/shorter.

Esculanta bulb is fairly small 1-2” tall elongated
Esculenta (Quamash) is the wild camassia that was used by the Native Americans as a food. plants are small, 4-6” tall, flower stems dark purple-blue with very bright golden stamens.
Hardy zone 6-8 with a little winter protection in 6.
Placement: Semi-shade with good moisture during their active growing cycle  seems adequate.

 

 

 

PLant POINTS

Sizing
In general, the bigger the bulb, the larger the flower. Bulbs traditionally are sized in centimeters circumference (2.5 cm=1 inch) However, some bulbs do not size well and can not be measured in this way because of their odd shape. Eremurus is a good example of this; its long, spider-like arms cannot easily or practically be measured, consequently it is sold by grading it by numbers (number one being the largest of its type, number two being second largest etc.) In the case of these odd bulbs that can not be graded, we ship the largest practical size.

FROSTHARDINESS.
ITo the best of our ability, we have given you a guess as to how hardy any of the bulbs we offer are. Conditions vary greatly depending on microclimate, altitude, soil-type, etc. We have used the USDA chart, which divides the country according to lowest average winter temperature. You, however, are the best judge on how cold the weather really gets in your given area

DRAINAGE.
All bulbs need good drainage, this is more important that any other growing condition.

Naming
A bulb is an under ground storage organ consisting of a series of scales attached to a basal plate ,such as tulip , allium ,lily. A corm is a solid tissue mass with specific points for growth nodes and roots, such as gladiolus, crocus. A tuber is and underground stem capable of producing buds and roots, such as begonia or calla. A rhizome is a swollen root modified to be come a storage organ and capable of the same, eremurus, lily of the valley,aconitum. They are in general called "bulbs". They are underground storage organs developed to overcome adverse climate conditions and capable of producing above ground plants at certain times and survive mostly by division.

BULB DEFINITION.
A bulb is an under ground storage organ consisting of a series of scales attached to a basal plate ,such as tulip , allium ,lily. A corm is a solid tissue mass with specific points for growth nodes and roots, such as gladiolus, crocus. A tuber is and underground stem capable of producing buds and roots, such as begonia or calla. A rhizome is a swollen root modified to be come a storage organ and capable of the same, eremurus, lily of the valley,aconitum. They are in general called "bulbs". They are underground storage organs developed to overcome adverse climate conditions and capable of producing above ground plants at certain times and survive mostly by de vision.

ORIGIN.
If you familiarize yourself with the origin and natural growing conditions of these plants, you can avoid a great many costly mistakes. For instance, a plant that originates from a harsh land-climate will not do well in a tropical or sub-tropical climate, although it might prosper on higher elevations in such a climate.

FERTILIZATION.
Once established, fertilize only sparingly prior to active growth. Water as long as there is green foliage. Fertilize with a well decayed manure or a chemical fertilizer high in P and K and low in N, preferably a slow release type as this is more practical and