Camassia is a genus of six species of bulbous perennials from the damp fertile meadow lands of North America. The name Camassia is derived from the name kamas given by the Nootka Chinook native American people.
The bulbs are generally large and ovoid or spherical and those of theCamassia quamash have been used by the native people of western USA and Canada as food. When cooked they apparently look and taste like a sweet potato.
The naming of Camas county, Idaho, indicates the importance of this plant to early settlers and native people. We, however, grow camassias for their flowers, which are large and showy and either cup or star shaped. Their colours are blue, purple or white. Camassias produce basal bright green leaves that are narrow, linear and channelled.