Camassia cusickii

Spike of pale blue flowers

Camassia cusickii is a bulb that naturalises in full sun to partial shade, throwing up sturdy spires of starry, steel blue flowers. Its folk names include Wild Hyacinth and Quamash. English bluebells are contributing their darker blue blur in the picture above.

Pale blue, starry flowers

The impressionistic look created by the sunlight seems to capture the bounty of the plant. I could have hung about waiting for a cloud to dull the light so I could achieve a flatter effect, but there was so much more to see!

23 Replies to “Camassia cusickii”

    1. It’s not one you’d miss. Apparently it likes dampish but not waterlogged soil, which makes it quite unusual as bulbs go.

  1. I have never seen this flower before! I HAVE seen the english bluebells…or somethingl like them. I want to plant some of them, maybe I should add some of these too.

  2. How beautiful! I’ve never heard of this or seen it before, and am very glad to make its acquaintance. The bluebell blur is perfect background for it. I’m also glad you took the photo with the sun — I love the contoured blue!

    1. There were two kinds of camassia there – I’m not sure what the other one was. These were a lighter colour and caught my eye the most.

  3. Two species of Camassia are native plants on Vancouver Island and other parts of the west coast of North America. Both have dark blue flowers. Despite habitat destruction, there are still places where you can see large swathes of them about this time of year. I’m not familiar with C. cusikii, however, so this post is a revelation.

  4. It looks almost like our native species. Ours does not have so many florets on each stem. However, I do not know what it would do in a garden situations. Mine used to come up in the driveway. It seems like an odd flower to be growing in home gardens. English bluebells are more colorful.

    1. I had to look at it again. It does look different. There is another species that has as many flowers on each stem, but the flowers are small and white.

      1. They were quite tall, perhaps two or three times as tall as the English bluebells and were growing on the upper edge around a pond.

        I’ve been interested to read some research today that suggests that English bluebells are not in as much danger as previously thought from the Spanish ones, as they seed more readily, even in mixed communities. I’m glad to hear that as I had been feeling guilty about my Spanish ones.

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