camass


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Related to camass: Camassia leichtlinii

camass

or

camas

(both: kăm`əs), any species of the genus Camassia (or Quamasia), hardy North American plants of the family Lilaceae (lilylily,
common name for the Liliaceae, a plant family numbering several thousand species of as many as 300 genera, widely distributed over the earth and particularly abundant in warm temperate and tropical regions.
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 family), chiefly of moist places in the far West, where their abundance has given rise to various place names. The bulbs of the common camass (C. quamash) were a staple food of Northwestern Native Americans; it is now cultivated as an ornamental for its showy blue to white blossoms. Camass, or quamash, was the Native American name. An eastern camass is called wild hyacinth. The death camass (Zygadenus venenosus), with leaves poisonous to sheep, is similar in appearance but distinguishable by having three styles instead of six. Camass is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Liliopsida, order Liliales, family Liliaceae.
References in periodicals archive ?
It says: "The word Camas is used to describe geographic features in many parts of Oregon, including Camas Valley in Douglas County, Camas Swale in Lane Countya.
Tribal members once hunted, fished and gathered camass bulbs on the preserve land.
They were salmon fishers, gatherers of camass root, and superb riders who bred Appaloosas, which are said to take their name from the Palouse country of eastern Washington, also part of the tribe's domain.