Bulbs sometimes clustered, ovoid, 1-3 cm diam. Leaves 3-8, 2-6 dm × 5-20 mm. Inflorescences 19-47 cm; sterile bracts 0-3(-5), bracts subtending flowers shorter than or equaling pedicel. Flowers actinomorphic; tepals usually withering separately after anthesis, not deciduous, light blue, occasionally whitish, each 3- or 5-veined, 7-15 × 2.6-4.2 mm; anthers bright yellow, 1.3-3.2 mm; fruiting pedicel mostly spreading to spreading-erect, 5-30 mm. Capsules deciduous, pale green to light brown, subglobose, 6-10 mm. Seeds 2-5 per locule. 2n = 30. Flowering mid--late spring. Prairies; 100--1000 m; Ont.; Ala., Ark., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Md., Mich., Miss., Mo., Ohio, Okla., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va., Wis. Camassia scilloides flowers two to three weeks earlier than sympatric populations of C. angusta. The name Schoenolirion texanum was long misapplied to a taxon now correctly known as S. wrightii Sherman.
Perennial herb with bulbs flowering stem 30 cm - 0.6 m tall Leaves: basal, appearing whorled, 20 - 40 cm long, 5 - 10 mm wide, linear, keeled. Inflorescence: a terminal, elongated, and many-flowered cluster (raceme) raised on a single stalk. Flowers: on 1 - 2 cm long, spreading stalks, pale violet or blue to white, 7 - 12 mm long, mostly radially symmetrical, with six spreading, lance-shaped tepals that wither but remain during fruit. Stamens six. Anthers yellow. Fruit: a rounded, dehiscent capsule. Bulbs: solitary or clustered, 1 - 3 cm thick, somewhat round, and encased in a brown or black coating (tunic).
Similar species: Camassia scilloides is a distinctive plant in the Chicago Region.
Flowering: May to mid-June
Habitat and ecology: Found in prairies, savannas, woodland borders, and mowed fields near woods.
Occurence in the Chicago region: native
Notes: There are several species of Camassia cultivated from the native species.
Etymology: Camassia comes from the Native American word quamash, meaning sweet. Scilloides means "resembling plants from the Genus Scilla."
Author: The Morton Arboretum
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
Moist, wooded slopes, usually bordering streams. It is found throughout the state, becoming rare or absent in the northern counties.
Bulb 1-3 cm thick; lvs 2-4 dm נ5-10 mm; scape 3-6 dm, rather stout; raceme many-fld; pedicels 1-2 cm, spreading, about equaling the filiform bracts; tep blue or pale violet to white, 7-12 mm, withering and persistent at the base of the subglobose, transversely veined fr. Prairies and moist open woods; w. Pa. and s. Ont. to s. Wis. and e. Kans., s. to Ga. and Tex.; sometimes casually escaped elsewhere. Apr., May. (C. angusta; Quamasia hyacinthina)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.