Plant A Day – Atlantic Camas

Atlantic Camas Camassia scilloides

Atlantic Camas
Camassia scilloides

I was on a canoe trip a week ago and came upon a large patch of this up on the bank.  I had never seen it before and was happy to see such an attractive plant growing amongst the nettles and smartweed.

This plant is also known as Wild Hyacinth.  It’s closely related to the garden variety hyacinth, although the taxonomists have had a hard time deciding what to do with it. I’ve seen it placed in the Liliaceae family, the Hyacinthaceae family, the Chlorogalaceae family and the Asparagaceae family.  I believe the latest is the Asparagaceae, although it looks nothing like asparagus.  This poor guy has been bounced around from family to family.  It seems to be doing ok though.

The leaves are all long thin basal leaves

The leaves are all long thin basal leaves

The flowers are in loose racemes

The flowers are in loose racemes

Closeup of flower

Closeup of flower

Whole plant

Whole plant

 

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