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PlantFiles: Camassia
Camassia leichtlinii

Family: Liliaceae (lil-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Camassia (kuh-MAS-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: leichtlinii (leekt-LIN-ee-eye) (Info)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

15 members have or want this plant for trade.


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Seed Collecting:
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

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5 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coriaceous On Mar 31, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Very beautiful, and very useful because of its bloom time. This plant fills the gap after the usual spring bulbs are finished and before the usual summer perennials begin. Also the blue-violet color is always welcome.

Very persistent (over ten years) but it has never increased for me by offsets or self-sowing. It does not usually need extra water in spring here. It performs well in dappled shade---it's much more shade tolerant than most spring bulbs. It also tolerates more summer irrigation. It does well with deep planting, up to a foot. The flower scapes have always been self-supporting here.

I don't find this species gets over 3' tall. Cutting the scapes to the ground when blooming is finished is the only maintenance they need. I add compost to all my beds yearly.

I find bulbs often produce 3 flower scapes in their first year, and often twice that in succeeding years. I find there are usually only 2-5 flowers open on any scape at any time, so for maximal impact, bulbs are best planted in groupings of 3-5.

The bulbs are edible and nutritious, and were staple foods of the native Americans. No part of the plant is poisonous, but where they grow in the wild they often grow together with highly poisonous bulbous species whose bulbs look very similar.

I prefer the darker blue cultivars like 'Blue Danube' to the pale blue of the species.

Positive Rebeccatowoc On May 4, 2012, Rebeccatowoc from Stewart, TN wrote:

My daughter gave me a gift certificate to Brent and Becky's so I tried some camassia "Alba." Delighted with them! Beside some yellow deronico and a bed of pink impatiens, their starry spears are quite beautiful. These plants deserve wider use.

Positive jmorth On May 27, 2008, jmorth from Divernon, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

The white version 'Alba' blooms right after the blue ones in my garden.
Very 'starry'

Positive laurawege On May 21, 2008, laurawege from Wayland, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I started out maybe 10 years ago with a hand full of bulbs and now I have four nice sized clumps and have given away some to a few friends. a great plant for the spring border mine is blooming now on may 20th here in NE. mine are in full sun in good rich soil . we have had a cool spring this year so they have lasted well, some years they come and go to quickly and are a little untidy afterwards but I think they are worth the space .

Neutral sallyg On Aug 12, 2006, sallyg from Anne Arundel,, MD (Zone 7b) wrote:

Have had three from the local farm store for about four years. They are in moist sandy loam part sun. Have been getting overgrown by a bush so I dug them up today. Each bulb has grown one full sized offset and about four smaller offsets. They seems to be doing well for no added fertilizer. I'm hoping to get a nice group of blooms from the new planting next year. Pretty blue, don't think they lasted very long, and flopped.

Positive struckcheon On May 6, 2006, struckcheon from Closter, NJ wrote:

Very beautiful. I have it growing in dappled shade, and it really doesn't seem to mind at all. The color is out of this world, and the gold stamens against the shade of bluish purple this puts out looks truly extraordinary. Great plant.

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 31, 2001, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Easily grown in average, medium wet, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Does best in full sun. Prefers a moist, fertile, acidic, somewhat heavy soil where plants can remain undisturbed for years. Needs additional moisture during spring growth and bloom (medium wet to wet), but will tolerate drier conditions thereafter. Plant bulbs in fall.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Wilmington, Delaware
Chicago, Illinois
Divernon, Illinois
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Warren, Indiana
Millersville, Maryland
Beverly, Massachusetts
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Wayland, Massachusetts
Auburn, New Hampshire
Chester, New York
Cornwall On Hudson, New York
Hilton, New York
Aulander, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio
Portland, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Springfield, Oregon
Stewart, Tennessee
Plano, Texas
Port Townsend, Washington

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