April 26th, 2012

Camassia quamash

One of the nice spring surprises this last week has been that our camas has decided to bloom. While our camas has had a great success rate since planting, we had been wondering if it would bloom at all, or if the ecoroof environment was a little too rough (shallow, nutrient poor soil). But it is more a reminder of just how old some plants can be… Judging by camas that we are growing elsewhere on our yard from seed, and the size these were when planted, they are probably five or six years old.

I’m often surprised that these aren’t a more common ornamental for people to keep in their yards. They’re quite striking and require zero watering and maintenance. They were likely very common in Portland 150 years ago and are talked up often as a great native plant to have around, but it is unfortunately very rare to come across one in town.

We have a whole stand of camas up on our roof, and the few that are in bloom right now are just the beginning.

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