Camas (Camassia quamash/leichtlinii) 

With the help of local schools, youth organizations, and planting contractors, over 100,000 camas (Camassia quamash) bulbs have been planted at the Quamash Prairie wetlands. 

   
Students working together to plant camas.  View of a large 'old growth' camas bulb. 

Camas is a culturally important native plant that was staple food source for Native Americans in the region.  For background information on the camas species that grow locally, refer to USDA Plant Guide information for Common Camas and Great Camas.

 
Students from Al Kennedy High School in Cottage Grove, Oregon planting camas bulbs at Quamash Prairie. 

Camas bulbs are salvaged from areas of future development.  Students dig up the bulbs and prepare them to be planted at Quamash Prairie.  Preparation can include sun drying if the bulbs are  not being immediately planted as well as washing the bulbs to avoid bringing unwanted non-native seed to the Quamash Praire wetkands.

   
Camas bulbs being temporarily sun dried for planting at a later date. 

 Washed camas bulbs ready for planting


It takes multiple years for a camas seed to develop a bulb that is large enough to produce a flower.  A two year old bulb is approximately the size of a large pea.

   
Camas emerges in mid to late winter. Camas flowers bloom during April & May.