The Camassia are looking wonderful at the moment loving the sunshine and showers! This striking 2′ to 3′ flowering bulb is the perfect colour bridge for this time of year, flowering just as the tulips are finishing and before the early summer colour starts. They are easy to grow and multiply quite quickly producing a really striking show.
We only have them in china blue at the moment but we are looking forward to planting some in deeper blue and creamy white in the autumn, the blooms last around 3 weeks which is a bonus at this time of year. Camassia also know as Indian Hycinth do naturalise in grass but the leaves take a long time to die back so it makes it a bit messy for mowing so keeping them to a border where they have space to spread is a good idea, they are looking lovely in the main border against the contrast of the deep purply pink of the Honesty.
Here they are at Garden Cottage gate in a shady spot with some white bells in bloom. Coming originally from Canada they are totally hardy and easy to divide in autumn. Off sets can be potted up but take a few years to get to the flowering stage. Easy to grow by seed if you have the patience, they take up to 3 years to get to the flowering stage.
A member of the Asparagus family, for the Native American People the bulbs were a staple food and were farmed as a vegetable with scrub land being burned off to keep bulb growing areas clear, the Indians were none too happy when the settlers started to plough up their bulbs. Camassia are rich in the history of the Pacific Northwest and the First Nations people still gather and consume blue camas bulbs, more it has to be said for their tradition than for their flavour. Today gardeners have a hunger for their natural beauty and decorative quality as they make excellent long lasting cut flowers, personally I can never bare to cut them as they look so beautiful in the garden… Enjoy!