E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Camassia leichtlinii subsp. suksdorfii (Baker) S. Watson (Greenm.) Gould
great camas (Suksdorf's large camas)
(Previously in Liliaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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Distribution of Camassia leichtlinii subsp. suksdorfii
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Elegant spires covered with masses of star-shaped purple-blue flowers with glittering yellow anthers. This is a larger species than C. quamash. Native from BC to southern California.

Meadows, prairies and hillsides that are moist, at least in early spring.

Note Author: Gary Lewis, Phoenix Perennials

Species Information

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Perennial herb from a deep, egg-shaped bulb 2-4 cm long; flowering stems 20-100 cm tall, smooth.
Basal leaves several to numerous, linear-lanceolate and grass-like, to 60 cm long, 1-2 cm wide, smooth, sheathing at the base, the margins entire; stem leaves lacking.
Inflorescence a terminal raceme of 5 to many, stalked flowers, the stalks 1-4 cm long, spreading in flower, spreading to ascending in fruit; flowers pale to deep blue, rarely white, of 6 similar, distinct tepals, the tepals 20-40 mm long, 5-10 mm wide, twisting together over the ovaries when withered; stamens 6; pistil 1, 3-chambered.
Capsules, egg-shaped to oblong, cross-ridged, 1-2.5 cm long; fruiting stalks often longer than bracts, spreading to ascending, curved in towards stem; seeds several to many, shiny black, 2-4 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Vernally moist meadows in the lowland zone; locally frequent on SE Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, one report also from adjacent mainland (Sechelt Peninsula); S to CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is cool mesothermal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Camassia leichtlinii
Camassia leichtlinii var. suksdorfii (Greenm.) C.L. Hitchc.
Camassia suksdorfii Greenm.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References