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

Camassia quamash (Pursh) Greene subsp. quamash
common camas (small camas)
Asparagaceae
(Previously in Liliaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Thayne Tuason  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #76280)

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Distribution of Camassia quamash subsp. quamash
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Species Information

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General:
Perennial herb from a deep, egg-shaped bulb 2-4 cm long; flowering stems 20-70 cm tall, smooth.
Leaves:
Basal leaves several to numerous, linear-lanceolate and grass-like, to 50 cm long, 1-3 cm wide, smooth, sheathing at the base, the margins entire; stem leaves lacking.
Flowers:
Inflorescence a terminal raceme of 5 to many, stalked flowers, the stalks 1-2 cm long, spreading in flower, ascending to erect in fruit; flowers pale to deep blue, rarely white, weakly bilaterally symmetric, of 6 similar, distinct tepals, the tepals 15-40 mm long, 2-8 mm wide; stamens 6, anthers yellow to violet; pistil 1, 3-chambered.
Fruits:
Capsules, egg-shaped to oblong, cross-ridged, 1-2.5 cm long; fruiting stalks shorter than the bracts, ascending to erect, curved in towards stem; seeds several to many, shiny black, 2-4 mm long.
Notes:
Two subspecies are known from BC:

1. Tepals 3- to 5-veined, mostly less than 6 mm wide, usually less than 30 mm long; stalks appressed in fruit; plants from the dry interior........................ ssp. quamash

1. Tepals 5- to 9-veined, mostly more than 6 mm wide, usually more than 30 mm long; stalks ascending to somewhat spreading in fruit; plants from the coast....................... ssp. maxima Gould

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to vernally moist meadows and grasslands in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; locally frequent on SE Vancouver Island (ssp. azurea rare in peatlands on W Vancouver Island), the Gulf Islands and SE BC; E to AB and S to MT, ID and WA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Ecology

Ecological Framework for Camassia quamash ssp. quamash

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class

Minimum

Average

Maximum

Elevation (metres) 770 770 770
Slope Gradient (%) 50 50 50
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
160 159 160
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 2 2
Modal Nutrient Regime
Class
C
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
1
Modal BEC Zone Class
ICH
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: ICH(1)

Climate

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 not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Camassia quamash subsp. teapeae (H. St. John) H. St. John
Camassia quamash var. quamash
Phalangium quamash Pursh

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

General References