Camassia Back to Plants
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.
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.