Zygadenus elegans

smooth camas - Zygadenus elegans 09JL23-04
smooth camas - Zygadenus elegans 10JL01-01
smooth camas - Zygadenus elegans 11JL15

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smooth camas - Zygadenus elegans 09JL23

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characteristics

A perennial growing from onion-like bulbs. Gray to green grass-like leaves with spikes of broad, star-shaped, greenish-white flowers.

Also known as white camas and mountain deathcamas. Also called Anticlea elegans outside of North America. Member of the lily family. This plant is a glacial relic which remained after the Pleistocene ice sheets retreated.

Some sources report this species to be highly toxic while others maintain mild toxicity.

Starts from seed.

T SSN H W sun soil H2O fire N2 pH summer fall flower (seed)
P CW 0.8 0.3 S/PS F-M-C M-W - - - green-pale grey white-green

habitat

Ditches, meadows and well drained slopes.

uses

North American aboriginals call this plant quamash; IE: plants that bear bulbs used for food.

Although not used as a nectar source, the Dakota Skipper flight period coincides with the flowering of smooth camus.

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common > name = have on site
T = type: A = annual | B = biennial | P = perennial | SS = subshrub | D = deciduous | C = coniferous
██ = cold stratify | ██ = cold stratify & scarify | ██ = plant directly | ██ = scarify | ██ = not from seed
SSN = season: C = cool | W = warm | Y = late
H = height (in metres) | W = width (in metres) | B = bunch | S = sod | SB = sod/bunch
sun: S = full sun | S/PS = sun or partial shade | PS = partial shade | SH = full shade
soil: F = fine | M = medium | C = coarse
H2O = moisture requirement: D = dry | M = moist | W = wet | Z = aquatic
fire = fire tolerance: - = unknown | X = none | = some | •• = moderate | ••• = high tolerance
N2 = nitrogen fixing: = yes
summer = foliage colour | fall = foliage (stem) colour | flower (seed) = flower (seed / fruit) colour, if conspicuous
pH = acidity - alkalinity