Camassia is an unusual bulb flower in several ways. First, it probably will produce some foliage in the fall, which most fall-planted bulbs don’t. Next, it blossoms later than most other bulbs, coming into flower in June or early July. It will take partial shade. And it is edible.

The Lewis and Clark expedition found the plant, and local tribes taught the explorers how to it prepare it, so while it is native to the United States, it is not native to Maine.

Camassia will grow in moist but not soggy soil. If the area where you want to plant it has long-lasting puddles, add compost first.

Plant the bulbs 4 inches deep and about 8 inches apart, pointy-side up, and water them thoroughly so they will begin growing immediately.

The blossoms are similar to those on a hyacinth, with small flowers coming out on a stem. They come mostly in blue, but also in white.

The plant works well as cut flowers. The foliage will turn yellow after blossom time, but don’t cut it off immediately. You can remove the foliage in late summer, after it has fed the roots.

Camassia will spread over time.

Now, if you want to eat camassia, you must be patient. The bulbs have to be cooked at low temperatures for at least 12 hours, or they cause painful gas.

It probably is better to just enjoy their beauty.

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