Camassia cusickii

9 Jun

Camassia cusickii Flower (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Camassia cusickii Flower (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Late spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 80cm

Eventual Spread: 10cm

Hardiness: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family:  Asparagaceae

Sub Family: Agavoideae

Camassia cusickii is an upright bulbous perennial. Its mid green leaves are linear, channeled with parallel venation, have wavy margins and are up to 80cm long. Its pale blue flowers are star shaped and are composed of 6 petals and are up to 5cm across. They are arranged in racemes of up to 100 flowers and are borne on long stems. Its fruit is a loculicidal capsule.

Camassia cusickii, commonly known as Cusick’s Quamash, Quamash Wild Hyacinth or Cusick’s Camas, is native to western Canada and the western United States. In its native habitat it is found in damp meadows and river banks.

The etymological root of the binomial name Camassia is from the Quamash, the North American Indian name for Camassia esculenta. Cusickii is named after William Conklin Cusick (1842 -1922), an American plant collector.

Camassia cusickii (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Camassia cusickii (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find Camassia cusickii useful for planting en mass in areas of wild grass, including banks slopes where regular maintenance will not occur, as the stems should be left after flowering.

Ecologically, Camassia cusickii is attractive to bees and pollinating insects.

Camassia cusickii prefers moist, fertile, humus rich, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It will not tolerate waterlogged soils.

Camassia cusickii requires little maintenance. If naturalised in meadow the leaves should be allowed to naturally die back before cutting the grass.

Davis Landscape Architecture

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2 Responses to “Camassia cusickii”

  1. Charlie@Seattle Trekker 20/11/2013 at 05:09 #

    I am always looking to diversify the blooms in my garden in early spring…Great information, thank you.

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