Camas in Bloom

My friend Joe took this incredible photo of a camas flower at Camassia (the natural area near my house).  The camas is in full bloom there right now and, as you can see, the honey bees like it.  Notice the loaded pollen basket on the bee’s “knees”.  Check out my Honey Bee post from last year for more information on their pollen gathering.

There are other varieties of camas though.  This photo above is of my front yard right now.  As you can see, my plants are starting to fill in.  See the purple flowers on the upper right?  Those are also camas flowers, though they are huge and probably a garden variety and not the native shown in Joe’s photo.

Speaking of purple flowers, I just had to show off my irises.  They are screaming for attention!

  1. Great flowers Mike – love the native camas! Apple blossoms and Saskatoon in bloom up here on Vancouver Island. I’m trying to find some time to post pics!

  2. Gosh those purple flowers in your yard look like purple lupine. Maybe way upper right? Anyway, cool, I remember learning as a kid that the Indians here in the Northwest ate camas root. think they mixed it in their pemican? Ah, love your yard, mine is so overdue to a rehaul but I always seem to be away on weekends….like to Portland this weekend.

    1. I do have lupine too, but it hasn’t flowered yet. The ones in the picture are definitely camas. It is true that camas bulbs were an important native american meal. I’ve also heard that when the plant loses its flowers it is indistinguishable from another plant called “death camas”- and guess what, it kills you! So, unless you are SURE, don’t eat it. One of these days, when you come down here we’ll have to have a Portland blogger hike somewhere- there’s a few others down here.

  3. Mike,
    Good stuff in the photos. I like the pictures since I am always on the lookout for camas. Especially true about a key part of native american diets. As I understand, there were huge festivals here in southern oregon around its harvest. Nice irises. If I get a chance, I’ll send you some of mine.

    1. Thanks- if you want to see camas try to make it up here this time of year. Camassia is a cool place and it is walking distance from my house.

  4. . . . and well-deserved attention it is—-lovely front yard—lovely native camas—speaking of death camas—there’s a bush in bloom outside my daughter’s house in central Florida right now that she’s been told can be fatal to a child who eats just one leaf! I’ll photograph it and post it on my blog to see if anyone can identify it—-

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.