Purple Great Camas
Camassia leichtlinii var. suk
Habit: grows from a solitary starchy bulb, with numerous basal, grass-like leaves forming a 2 ft (60cm) tall clump of foliage. Spikes of 5 to 20 blue to violet, star-shaped flowers, consisting of 6 yellow stamens and 6 tepals of similar size and shape, rise above the foliage. The withering tepals twist together around developing papery capsules. Blooms from May to July.
Ecology: found usually in wetlands but also in moist meadows, hillsides and roadsides, from British Columbia to the Sierra Nevada at elevations of 2000-8000 ft (610-2438m).
Growing Conditions: full sun to partial shade in humus rich, moist to wet well-drained soil in the winter and spring, and dry soil in the summer.
Great camas is seen in the wild as large fields of blue in the spring.
Photo Credit: Kathy Pendergrass