Great Camas

Camassia leichtlinii
  • Hul’qumi’num Name: speenhw
  • Description: Perennial herb to 70 cm tall, from a starchy, bulb-like corm. Leaves are grass-like, flowers are pale to deep blue and purple, followed by papery capsules.
  • Habitat: Grassy meadows, ocean bluffs, and Garry Oak-associated ecosystems.
  • Harvest: Harvest mature corms when the seed pods are dry.
  • Edibility: Camas corms are full of a starch called inulin, and are traditionally cooked overnight in steaming pits.
  • Fun Fact:  Camas was and is a staple food of Coast Salish peoples. To harvest, it’s best to grow it yourself for several years until it is ready.

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