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Camassia leichtlinii - (Baker.)S.Watson.                
                 
Common Name Wild Hyacinth, Large camas, Suksdorf's large camas
Family Hyacinthaceae
Synonyms C. esculenta leichtlinii. Chlorogalum leichtlinii.
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Meadows, prairies and hillsides that are moist, at least in early spring.
Range Western N. America - British Columbia to S. California.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of bulb
Camassia leichtlinii is a BULB growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 8-Mar It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen in July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.It is noted for attracting wildlife.


USDA hardiness zone : 3-7


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Camassia leichtlinii Wild Hyacinth,  Large camas, Suksdorf


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Sten
Camassia leichtlinii Wild Hyacinth,  Large camas, Suksdorf
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Sten
   
Habitats       
 Lawn; Meadow; Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Root.
Edible Uses:

Bulb - raw or cooked[94, 105, 177]. The bulb is about 3cm in diameter[270], eaten raw it has a mild, starchy flavour, but a gummy texture that reduces the enjoyment of it somewhat[K]. It is excellent when slow baked, however, developing a sweet flavour and making a very good potato substitute[183, 256, K]. The cooked bulb can also be dried for later use[183] or ground into a powder and used as a thickener in soups or as an additive to cereal flours when making bread, cakes etc[161]. The bulbs can be boiled down to make a molasses, this was used on festival occasions by various Indian tribes[183]. One report says that the bulbs contain inulin (a starch that cannot be digested by humans) but that this breaks down when the bulb is cooked slowly to form the sugar fructose which is sweet and easily digested[256].
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



None known
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details                                         
A very easily grown plant, it succeeds in almost any soil[42] and is tolerant of considerable neglect once it is established[K]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a rather heavy loam[1] that has plenty of moisture in spring but does not remain wet over the winter[138, 200]. Dislikes dry soils[200]. Prefers full sun but tolerates partial shade[138, 200]. A very ornamental plant[1], there are many named varieties[200]. Plants often self-sow[K]. A good bee plant[108]. Plants can be naturalized in damp grass, this should not be trimmed until mid to late summer when the bulbs have flowered and the leaves have died down[134]. This species can be confused with certain poisonous bulbs in the genus Zigadenus[85]. Plant the bulbs 7 - 10cm deep in early autumn and then leave undisturbed[1]. The bulbs should be planted about 20cm deep[233].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[134]. The seed can also be sown in a cold frame in spring[134]. It usually germinates in 1 - 6 months at 15°c, but it can be erratic[138]. Sow the seed thinly so that it does not need to be thinned and allow the seedlings to grow on undisturbed for their first year. Give an occasional liquid feed to ensure that the plants do not become nutrient deficient. When the plants are dormant in late summer, pot up the small bulbs putting 2 - 3 bulbs in each pot. Grow them on for another one or two years in a cold frame before planting them out when dormant in late summer. Offsets in late summer. The bulb has to be scored in order to produce offsets.
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
(Baker.)S.Watson.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
60200270
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[42]Grey. C. H. Hardy Bulbs.
Rather dated now, but an immense work on bulbs for temperate zones and how to grow them. Three large volumes.
[85]Harrington. H. D. Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains.
A superb book. Very readable, it gives the results of the authors experiments with native edible plants.
[94]Sweet. M. Common Edible and Useful Plants of the West.
Useful wild plants in Western N. America. A pocket guide.
[105]Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World.
The most comprehensive guide to edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
[108]International Bee Research Association. Garden Plants Valuable to Bees.
The title says it all.
[134]Rice. G. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 2.
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. An interesting article on Ensete ventricosum.
[138]Bird. R. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 3.
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation.
[161]Yanovsky. E. Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237.
A comprehensive but very terse guide. Not for the casual reader.
[177]Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption.
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[233]Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants
A concise guide to a wide range of perennials. Lots of cultivation guides, very little on plant uses.
[256]Turner. N. J. Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples
Excellent little handbook about the native food plants of Western Canada. Good descriptions of the plants and their uses with colour photos of most plants.
[270] Flora of N. America
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.

Readers comment                                         
 
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Subject : Camassia leichtlinii  
             

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