Growing Camassia (Wild Hyacinth)

February 14, 2006
Botanical Name: Camassia
Life Cycle: perennial bulb
Planting Time: fall
Height: up to 3'
Exposure: sun to light shade
Soil: rich, moist, well-drained soil
Hardiness: zones 4 to 9 depending on species
Bloom Time: late spring to summer
Flower: blue, purple, white and lavender
Foliage: green to blue-green depending on species
Propagation: bulbs
Suggested Use: borders, beds, cut flowers, and native plantings
Growing Hints: There are several common species of Camassia worthy of planting in your perennial garden. The bulbs of the first, Camassia quamash, were once eaten by Native Americans and are known for their deep blue foliage and grow upright to 16". The second, Camiasia cusickii, have hundreds of lighter blue, star-shaped flowers on each head, but grow taller-up to 30".

The third species, Camassia leichltlinii, also grows tall with light blue or white flowers. It combines well with other perennials such as irises or lilies or peonies. Plant all Wild Hyacinth bulbs to a depth of 6 inches spaced 8 inches apart. Most bloom in late summer to early fall and tolerate moister soil conditions than most other bulbs.
Interesting Facts: Wild Hyacinths are native to parts of North America and Canada.
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