John Scheepers

Fall 2014

Serving America's finest gardens since 1908

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Camassia

Historically, Camassia has been known as the Wild Hyacinth, Camass, Quamash or Leichtlin’s camass. A northwest US native that has been long cultivated commercially in the Netherlands, Camassia is best grown in moist, fertile soil in full sun although it can also thrive in dappled sunlight. Unlike most bulbs, Camassia prefers soil that has a bit more moisture, as it enjoyed in the moist slopes and mountain meadows west of the Cascade Mountains. It is an incredibly valuable genus since it naturalizes well when left undisturbed in a good spot, blooms after the Narcissus and Tulip spring show has faded and before summer annuals and perennials have hit their colorful strides. Plus, it makes a good fresh cut flower. Deer- and rodent-resistant, Camassia forms ever substantive clusters of linear strappy foliage from which upright racemes of six-petaled, 2”, star-shaped flowers emerge: the flowers open sequentially from the bottom to the top. Depending on the variety, the flowers are white, ivory, blue or purple, each with pretty yellow anthers. Bulb size: 14 cm/up. Height: 15" to 30" depending on the variety. Bloom time: May/June. Plant 5" deep and 5" apart. HZ: 4-8.

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