Camas

'Blue Melody'
Small Camas Lily


"The camas lilies gaze out above the grass
from their tender blue eyes.
Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these."

-Reverand Lynn Ungar

   

This cloned cultivar has an appearance distinct from our large patch of wild Camassia quamash. The flower is a paler but still very intense blue, & its grassy leaves are variegated green with yellow-green stripe, as opposed to the wild form which is a deeper even green (its foliage is not shown in the May flower photo, as that's just the regular lawn-grass that has grown around the camas).

The star-like burst of blossoms appear above the foliage, atop two-foot stems, in May & June. When blooms are spent, the attractive foliage loses its looks, drying to brown & dying back.

It should not be too hastily trimmed since the bulb will take in all the energy it can gain from the dying leaves. Placement in the garden is best where the upright stalks of gorgeous flowers are seen to best advantage, but where the somewhat low-lying variegated grass won't be an eyesore when the leaves are browning prepatory to summer dormancy.

It will naturalize easily in grassy areas if conditions suit it. It likes wetness for spring & damp early summer, followed by dry late summer & fall, when it is at risk of rotting if still wet. The ideal is basic wet-then-dry prairie conditions. Full sun or a very little shade suit it. Our patch has a good deal of afternoon sunlight, protected part of the day by an overhanging 'White Icicle' flowering current.

   

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