The most important historical native food plant in the Northwest!
Native across the Pacific Northwest and Northern California, the stunning blue flowers of camas historically lit up prairies, marshes, and oak savannahs in the spring.
This plant was once a keystone species, dominating open clearings maintained by native people who carefully burned large grasslands to provide habitat for this plant. The bulbs were dug in the fall and pit roasted to breakdown the inulin into simpler sweet caramelized sugars providing a staple food for the Nez Perce, Cree, Blackfoot, Coastal Salish, Lummi, and other native peoples, as well as source of food for the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Camas is lily-like in appearance with grassy leaves. Common camas typically grows up to a foot and a half tall and prefers loose, fertile soils.