Herbs, perennial, from bulbs. Bulbs solitary or clustered, tunicate, ovoid to globose; tunic black or brown. Leaves basal, appearing whorled; blade linear, keeled. Inflorescences appearing terminal, racemose, bracteate; bracts sterile or subtending flowers, narrowly lanceolate. Flowers actinomorphic or zygomorphic; tepals 6, persistent, ± equal in 2 whorls of 3, distinct, violet, blue, or white, each 3–9-veined, lanceolate, ± twisted in drying; stamens 6; filaments inserted on receptacles at base of tepals, slender; anthers versatile, dehiscence introrse; ovary 3-locular, septal nectaries present, ovules 6–36; style filiform; stigma 3-lobed; pedicel spreading to incurving-erect in fruit. Fruits capsular, ovoid to ellipsoid or subglobose, dehiscence loculicidal. Seeds 6–36, lustrous black, obpyriform to ovoid-ellipsoid, 2–4 mm. x = 15.
"Fls regular or slightly irregular; tep essentially alike, spreading, separate, sessile or short-clawed, 3–7-nerved; stamens 6, hypogynous; filaments filiform, elongate; anthers linear-oblong, introrse, versatile; ovules numerous; style solitary, slender, the stigma 3-lobed; fr a loculicidal capsule with few to several seeds; perennial from coated bulbs, with several linear basal lvs, an erect scape, and a loose, terminal, bracteate raceme of showy white to blue or violet fls. 5, N. Amer."
Gould, F. W. 1942. A systematic treatment of the genus Camassia Lindl. Amer. Midl. Naturalist 28: 712–742. Ranker, T. A. and A. F. Schnabel. 1986. Allozymic and morphological evidence for a progenitor-derivative species pair in Camassia (Liliaceae). Syst. Bot. 11: 433–445.
|Camas, quamash [Shoshone name camas or quamash]|