An Easy, Tall Blue Flower For Late Spring: Camassia

May 26, 2018 | Gardens

Imagine: You say you want a cutting garden with plants that come up every year? You can grow that! But be sure to plant Camassia…

Name: Camassia leichtlinii
Pronounced  kuh-MASS-ee-uh liked-LINN-ee-eye
The variety called Blue Danube is widely available.

Type of Plant: Perennial bulb the flowers in late-May or early June…native to the USA. In fact, the roots were cultivated and eaten by indigenous Americans.

Why I Love this plant: There are so many reasons to love Camassia. First of all, it comes into flower after many spring blubs. In my garden the Camassia flowers at the same time as the Aurinia saxatilis. In the month leading up to the flowers blooming the stalks are elegant and striking. Then the lavender blue flowers open and it’s as if pieces of a mid-summer sky have fallen onto the plants.

The second thing I love about Camassia is that it will grow in just about any soil, including damp places. Where most bulbs would rot, this one thrives. And it’s happy in full sun to part shade.

Finally, about a month after the flowers are done the foliage fades too. This makes it a good bulb for planting among later-flowering perennials.

A Word to the Wise: Since I have Camassia growing in a bed where I plant annuals, I usually cut the leaves back to the ground about the third week in June. The plant is no worse for wear.

In early May the dark stalks come up from the foliage, sporting lime green buds. These are bouquet and Instagram worthy as is!

But as the lavender blue flowers start to develop, those flower spikes become more beautiful.

And once the flowers open, with their graceful long stamens, they are even lovelier. These are beautiful with other late-spring flowers like lilacs and rhododendrons.

A great addition to any perennial cutting garden. Plant them in the fall. These are easy plants – no special care required.

Camassia are perfect in wild flower meadows and fields.

 

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