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Camassia leichtlinii

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Kemper Code:  Q550

Common Name: camass
Zone: 5 to 9
Plant Type: Bulb
Family: Agavaceae
Missouri Native: No
Native Range: Western North America
Height: 3 to 4 feet
Spread: 1 to 2 feet
Bloom Time: April - May   Bloom Data
Bloom Color: White, cream, blue or purple with yellow anthers
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low

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Plant Culture and Characteristics

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  Uses:       Wildlife:   Flowers:   Leaves:   Fruit:
Hedge Suitable as annual Attracts birds Has showy flowers Leaves colorful Has showy fruit
Shade tree Culinary herb Attracts Has fragrant flowers Leaves fragrant Fruit edible
Street tree Vegetable   hummingbirds Flowers not showy Good fall color   Other:
Flowering tree Water garden plant Attracts Good cut flower Evergreen Winter interest
Gr. cover (<1') Will naturalize   butterflies Good dried flower     Thorns or spines

General Culture: Click for monthly care information.

Best grown in moist, fertile, acidic, humusy soils in full sun to part shade. Does best in full sun. Plant bulbs 4-6” deep and 6” apart in fall. Needs regular moisture during the spring growth and bloom, but will tolerate drier conditions after bloom as the plants head for summer dormancy. Best left undisturbed once planted. Can be grown from seed, but will not bloom until the 3rd or 4th year.

Noteworthy Characteristics:

This camass (sometimes called Leichtlin’s camass) is a spring-flowering bulbous perennial that typically grows in moist mountain meadows west of the Cascades and Sierras from British Columbia to southern California. Star-shaped flowers in terminal racemes (20-80 flowers per raceme) open sequentially from bottom to top on stout, naked flowering stems that rise to a height of 2.5-4’ tall in late spring. Linear, strap-shaped leaves (up to 2’ long) form a 2’ clump of foliage. Flowers in this species may be white, cream, blue or purple, all with attractive yellow anthers. Good fresh cut flower.

Problems: Click for detailed list of pests and problems.

No serious insect or disease problems. Plants stems are strong and seldom need support.


Mass or plant in groups of at least 15 bulbs in wildflower meadows, open woodland areas or borders. May not deserve a prominent place in the border, however, since foliage can become rather scruffy in appearance after bloom. May also be utilized as accents on the periphery of a water garden or pond.

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 2001-2011

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