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Camas

As far as plants go, camas is rather famous in Montana, despite the fact that it is not very widespread.

http://fieldguide.mt.gov/RangeMaps/RecencyMap_PMLIL0E040_FS.jpg

Camas

Camas

Bread made from camas root was essential in the diets of Western Montana’s Indian tribes, and saved the Lewis and Clark Expedition from starvation. Like the buffalo, the grizzly, or the bitterroot, the delicate blue flowers of the camas plant hold a certain mystique, evoking romantic ideals of the Rocky Mountain Northwest. Part of the beauty of the camas must be its scarcity. Maybe it used to be more common, but as the above link shows, there aren’t many places to find camas anymore. Part of the mystique comes from the short life of the camas flower. Generally any field of camas will only have a week or so of ideal viewing before the flowers start to die. Because of, not despite, its fragile nature, the camas flower evokes Montana pre-history like few other plants.

Camas plants are “glabrous perennials from glabose bulbs” that prefer deep soil in low subalpine meadows. Each stalk grows a series of star-shaped flowers with pale blue petals and yellow anthers. In Southwest Montana, camas can be found in the mountains around Butte, Deer Lodge, and Philipsburg. The most famous place to find camas in Montana is Lolo pass, where it usually blooms in June.

 https://www.facebook.com/SouthwestMT/videos/1225357844142507/

Field of Camas

Field of Camas

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