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camas, common camas, small camas

Photo is of parent taxon

Howell's camas

Bulbs

seldom clustered, globose, 1–5 cm diam.

sometimes clustered, ovoid, 1.5–3 cm diam.

Leaves

usually fewer than 10, 1–6 dm × 4–20 mm.

6–15 mm wide, not glaucous.

4–7, 2–6 dm × 5–12 mm.

Inflorescences

20–80 cm;

sterile bracts absent, bracts subtending flowers usually equaling or exceeding pedicel.

15–40 cm;

sterile bracts 0, bracts subtending flowers shorter than or equaling pedicel.

Flowers

usually zygomorphic, sometimes actinomorphic;

tepals withering separately or connivent over capsules after anthesis, long-persistent on fruiting racemes, blue or bluish violet, each 3–9-veined, 12–35 × 1.5–8 mm;

anthers usually yellow, sometimes bluish violet, violet, or brown, 2.5–7 mm; fruiting pedicel mostly incurving-erect, occasionally spreading-erect, 5–70 mm.

slightly zygomorphic;

tepals connivent over capsules after anthesis, usually forced apart again by capsule growth, deep bluish violet, each 5-, 7-, or 9- veined, occasionally 3-veined in outer whorls, 20–35 × 5–8 mm;

anthers dull yellow to violet, 4–7 mm; fruiting pedicel incurving-erect, 10–25 mm.

actinomorphic;

tepals connivent over capsules after anthesis, deciduous as capsules develop, deep bluish violet, each 3- or 5-veined, 10–20 × 3–5 mm;

anthers yellow, 2.5–3.5 mm; fruiting pedicel spreading, 15–25 mm.

Capsules

not deciduous, pale green to pale brown, ovoid, 6–19 mm.

6–18 mm.

deciduous, shiny green, subglobose, 5–10 mm.

Seeds

5–10 per locule.

5–10 per locule.

2–5 per locule.

2n

= 30.

= 30.

Camassia quamash

Camassia quamash subsp. linearis

Camassia howellii

Phenology Flowering mid–late spring. Flowering late spring.
Habitat Wet meadows Wet meadows
Elevation 0–800 m [0–2600 ft] 200–400 m [700–1300 ft]
Distribution
from USDA
w United States and Canada
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
from FNA
CA
from FNA
OR
[BONAP county map]
Discussion

camassia quamash is highly variable morphologically. although there tend to be distinct geographical variants. here recognized as subspecies following f. w. gould (1942), there is much overlap among them. the subspecific status of these taxa is retained to highlight the extreme morphological variability and geographical patterns within the species. a detailed biosystematic study of this complex is needed

Subspecies 8 (8 in the flora).

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Of conservation concern.

Camassia howellii flowers one to two weeks later than sympatric populations of C. leichtlinii.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Key
1. Tepals connivent over capsules after anthesis, usually forced apart again by capsule growth.
→ 2
1. Tepals withering separately after anthesis, with no tendency to be connivent over capsules.
→ 4
2. Leaves 6–15 mm wide, not glaucous; tepals 5-, 7-, or 9-veined, or occasionally 3-veined in outer whorls; n California coast ranges.
C. quamash subsp. linearis
2. Leaves 10–20 mm wide, glaucous adaxially; tepals usually 3-veined, or 5-veined, in inner whorls; w and nw United States.
→ 3
3. Tepals bright blue to deep bluish violet, 15–20 mm; anthers bright yellow; ec California, n to Washington.
C. quamash subsp. breviflora
3. Tepals pale to deep bluish violet, 16–31 mm; anthers dull yellow to violet; s Idaho, n Utah.
C. quamash subsp. utahensis
4. Fruiting pedicels with capsules held away from raceme axes.
→ 5
4. Fruiting pedicels with capsules usually closely appressed to raceme axes (except subsp. maxima).
→ 6
5. Tepals light bluish violet; (bulbs 20–35 × 15–25 mm, shallowly buried in) light, well-drained prairie soils; sw Washington.
C. quamash subsp. azurea
5. Tepals bright to deep bluish violet; (bulbs 15–65 × 14–50 mm, deeply buried in) wet meadows, fields, and rocky coastal bluffs, sw British Columbia to nw Oregon.
C. quamash subsp. maxima
6. Pedicels usually 5–10 mm; flowers actinomorphic; tepals 12–20 mm; sw Oregon.
C. quamash subsp. walpolei
6. Pedicels 10–70 mm; flowers slightly zygomorphic or actinomorphic; tepals 15–35 mm; sw Canada, w Oregon and Washington e to Rocky Mountains.
→ 7
7. Leaves not glaucous; anthers bright yellow; Oregon only.
C. quamash subsp. intermedia
7. Leaves glaucous adaxially; anthers dull yellow, bluish violet, violet, or brown; extreme sw Canada, nw United States.
→ 8
8. Anthers never yellow, bluish violet to brown only.
C. quamash subsp. quamash
8. Anthers dull yellow, violet, or brown.
C. quamash subsp. maxima
Source FNA vol. 26, p. 304. FNA vol. 26, p. 305. FNA vol. 26, p. 306.
Parent taxa Liliaceae > Camassia Liliaceae > Camassia > Camassia quamash Liliaceae > Camassia
Sibling taxa
C. angusta, C. cusickii, C. howellii, C. leichtlinii, C. scilloides
C. quamash subsp. azurea, C. quamash subsp. breviflora, C. quamash subsp. intermedia, C. quamash subsp. maxima, C. quamash subsp. quamash, C. quamash subsp. utahensis, C. quamash subsp. walpolei
C. angusta, C. cusickii, C. leichtlinii, C. quamash, C. scilloides
Subordinate taxa
C. quamash subsp. azurea, C. quamash subsp. breviflora, C. quamash subsp. intermedia, C. quamash subsp. linearis, C. quamash subsp. maxima, C. quamash subsp. quamash, C. quamash subsp. utahensis, C. quamash subsp. walpolei
Synonyms Phalangium quamash Quamasia howellii
Name authority (Pursh) Greene: Man. Bot. San Francisco, 313. (1894) Gould: Amer. Midl. Naturalist 28: 736, figs. 5(5–7), 7, 9. (1942) S. Watson: Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts 25: 135. (1889)
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