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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Common Camas - Camassia quamash

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4S5
C-value: 6

Agency Status


External Links

General Description
Glabrous perennials from globose bulbs. Stems erect, 20–60 cm. Leaves basal, linear-lanceolate, 2–15 mm wide. Inflorescence a terminal raceme; each flower subtended by a green, linear bract; pedicels 5–10 mm long. Flowers nearly regular, star-shaped, blue; tepals spreading, separate, linear-lanceolate, 15–25 mm long; stamens shorter than tepals; anthers yellow; style 3-lobed. Fruit an ellipsoid, 3-angled capsule 6–12 mm long (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Our plants are variety quamash.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
BC, AB south to CA, UT and WY (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 259

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Deep soil of moist to wet meadows, grasslands; valleys to lower subalpine (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).
Predicted Suitable Habitat Model

This species has a Predicted Suitable Habitat Model available.

To learn how these Models were created see

The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus griseocollis and Bombus impatiens (Colla and Dumesh 2010).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Colla, S.R. and S. Dumesh. 2010. The bumble bees of southern Ontario: notes on natural history and distribution. Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario 141:39-68.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Culver, D.R. 1994. Floristic analysis of the Centennial Region, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 199 pp.
    • Fultz, J.E. 2005. Effects of shelterwood management on flower-visiting insects and their floral resources. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 163 p.
    • Johnson, T. W. 1982. An analysis of pack and saddle stock grazing areas in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. M.Sc.Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 105 p.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Common Camas"
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Citation for data on this website:
Common Camas — Camassia quamash.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from