Herb: Atlantic Camas

Latin name: Camassia scilloides

Synonyms: Camassia esculenta, Camassia fraseri, Quamasia hyacinthina

Family: Hyacinthaceae

Edible parts of Atlantic Camas:

Bulb - raw or cooked. The bulb was an important food for several native North American Indian tribes who used it in a variety of ways. It can be baked or dried and made into a powder which can be used as a thickener in stews or as an additive to cereal flours when making bread, cakes etc. The bulb is about 4cm long and 15mm wide.

Description of the plant:


60 cm
(2 feet)


Habitat of the herb:

Low fields, meadows and open woods.

Propagation of Atlantic Camas:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can also be sown in a cold frame in spring. It usually germinates in 1 - 6 months at 15C, but it can be erratic. Sow the seed thinly so that it does not need to be thinned and allow the seedlings to grow on undisturbed for their first year. Give an occasional liquid feed to ensure that the plants do not become nutrient deficient. When the plants are dormant in late summer, pot up the small bulbs putting 2 - 3 bulbs in each pot. Grow them on for another one or two years in a cold frame before planting them out when dormant in late summer. Offsets in late summer. The bulb has to be scored in order to produce offsets.

Cultivation of the herb:

Low fields, meadows and open woods.

Medicinal use of Atlantic Camas:

None known

Known hazards of Camassia scilloides:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.