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Camas Blue Prairie

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Camassia quammash

Native edible bulb with gorgeous blue flowers in spring.

Blue Prairie Camas has been stewarded by the Nimiipuu (Nez Perce), Shoshone, Bannock, and other Indigenous groups for generations. Sadly, the Bannock in 1878 saw that the prairies where they were stewarding these invaluable bulbs were being destroyed by the grazing livestock of settler-colonizers. Already starving from life on a reservation, seeing the destruction of their food source lead to a war with the US Army which lasted several months that year. The Bannock, along with many Shoshone and Paiute, were imprisoned at the Malheur Reservation in Eastern Oregon. Those still located at Fort Hall Reservation were restricted from leaving to collect food, causing further starvation and struggle.

We are offering a packet of seed as a gift to anyone with an ancestral relationship to Camas, free of charge, as long as we have the seed in stock. Free shipping is automatically applied to this packet. Please email community (dot) snakeriverseeds (@) gmail.com to arrange this.

As a white-majority seed cooperative, we have chosen to offer this seed in hopes to increase the plant's likelihood of future survival and repopulation in the prairies.  We are open and interested in feedback from anyone who has an ancestral relationship to this plant. To contact us with comments or questions, please email Reiley at communications@snakeriverseeds.com.

Camas bulbs are a nutritious and long-keeping winter food. Women traditionally roast the bulbs in a pit, cooking them until they resemble very sweet potatoes. They are also ground into a flour and used for baking. Blue flowers bloom late spring.

For more information about growing this plant, visit the USDA plant guide.

Seeds grown by Bluebird Forest Garden in Orofino, Idaho.

120 seeds.

Directions: Direct seed in fall and keep soil damp in late winter. Young plants look similar to grass and will not bloom until the 3rd or 4th year.

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