Common Name: camass
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: Dark blue with yellow stamens
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Suggested Use: Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Tolerate: Clay Soil, Dry Soil, Wet Soil, Black Walnut
Best grown in moist, fertile, acidic, humusy, well-drained 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 periods of spring growth and bloom, but will tolerate drier conditions after bloom as the plants head for summer dormancy. Best left undisturbed once planted. Plants can be grown from seed, but will not bloom until the 3rd or 4th year. Tolerates clay soils.
Camassia leichtlinii, sometimes called Leichtlin’s camass, is a spring-flowering bulbous perennial that typically grows on moist slopes and moist mountain meadows west of the Cascades and Sierras from British Columbia to southern California. Linear, strap-shaped leaves (up to 2’ long) typically form a 2’ clump of foliage. Star-shaped flowers (2-3" wide) in upright terminal racemes (20-80 flowers per raceme) open sequentially from bottom to top on stout, naked flowering stems that rise above the foliage clump to a height of 2.5-4’ tall in late spring. Each flower has six showy petal-like tepals. Flowers in this species may be white, cream, blue or purple, all with attractive yellow anthers. Good fresh cut flower.
Genus name comes from Nootka Chinook kamas.
Specific epithet honors Max Leichtlin (1831-1910) of Baden-Baden, Germany who introduced many plants into cultivation, notably from the Near East.
BLUE DANUBE produces dark blue flowers with attractive yellow stamens.
No serious insect or disease problems. Plant 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.