Thursday, December 6, 2012
A purple flowering plant which grows on the shore of Greenhouse Pond and photographed by John Abbuhl is being featured in the 2013 Pine Hollow Arboretum Calendar. The plant is a Camas (Camassia) and it was cool to discover what an interesting plant the camas is. Our caption for under the photo was getting longer and longer until we decided we had to cut it down to a reasonable length. I figured a short write-up on this small species could share our discovered information with others. John Abbuhl said the camas was a native plant but not native to the shore of Greenhouse Pond where he had planted it. I found out that native was true if you are talking about the large expanse of North America where the camas naturally ranges. The perennial six-petaled plant is native to Southern British Columbia to Northern California and east to Montana. The plant existed in great numbers in meadows and could color the whole meadow in purple when they flowered. Later in history settlements reduced the prairies filled with camus because of grazing by cattle and hogs. There are still places in the Great Basin out West where they fill the landscape.