What is camas flower used for?

Answered by Ricardo McCardle

Camas flower (Camassia quamash) has multiple uses, both medicinally and horticulturally.

Medicinally, the Nez Perce tribe, a Native American group, has traditionally used camas as a cough medicine. The process involves boiling the plant, then straining the juice and mixing it with honey. This concoction is believed to have soothing properties for coughs and respiratory ailments.

Horticulturally, camas is sought after for its ornamental value. It is commonly used for cut flowers, as its tall, slender stems and vibrant blue or purple flowers make it a striking addition to floral arrangements. Its beauty also makes it a popular choice for beds, borders, and rock gardens, where it adds a touch of color and elegance. Additionally, camas can be used as ground cover, particularly in prairie restoration projects where its natural habitat is being preserved.

Personally, I have had the pleasure of incorporating camas flowers into my own garden. The vibrant blue hues were a welcome addition, providing a burst of color amidst the green foliage. I also observed how the flowers attracted various pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, adding to the overall biodiversity of my garden. Furthermore, the cut flowers made for stunning floral displays, both indoors and outdoors, and were always a conversation starter.

Camas flower serves both medicinal and horticultural purposes. The Nez Perce tribe utilizes it as a cough medicine, while horticulturists appreciate its ornamental value in various settings, including cut flower arrangements, beds, borders, ground cover, rock gardens, and prairie restoration projects. Its beauty and versatility make it a sought-after addition to any garden or landscape.