Camassia scilloides
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Camassia scilloides Wild Hyacinth



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Wild Hyacinth, also called Atlantic Camas, is the only eastern species of its genus, which is in the Lily family and characterized by squat bulbs, similar to those of small tulips in size and shape. Its pale blue-violet flowers begin to bloom from the bottom, progressing toward the top of the spike-like raceme at the end of the plant’s central stalk. It will thrive in full sun, but also open shade such as a woodland edge. It likes rich, acidic soils, but can tolerate clay soils with adequate moisture, especially when it is in flower. The bulbs are edible and were a major food source for some Native American tribes and early European Settlers, but they are very hard to distinguish from Zigadenus elegans bulbs which are deadly poisonous.

Attractive to a number of insects seeking nectar and pollen, Camassia scilloides re-seeds itself but is slow from seed. Reproducion is also from bulb offshoots. By mid-summer, the basal leaves turn yellow and wither away and the plant remains dormant for the rest of the year. Because of this, we favor summer and fall plantings for the bulbs, over spring. Planted summer through fall, plants will emerge the following spring.

*This species may be difficult and/or slow to germinate and grow to maturity.  Please note the germination code.

Live Plant Shipping Table

Spring Summer Fall Age/Size
Dormant Bulbs
N/A August October 3-5 year bulb offshoots

Camassia scilloides - Wild Hyacinth

Map Key

This map shows the native and introduced (adventive) range of this species. Given appropriate habitat and climate, native plants can be grown outside their range.

12 Questions asked on Camassia scilloides






Q Ann • January 24 Are these deer-resistant? Thanks.
A Prairie Moon • January 25 Thanks for writing, Ann. We did not give it the deer-resistant symbol because we’re not aware of any characteristics that make Wild Hyacinth plants repugnant or repellent to deer, but these Camassia have the good fortune of blooming early in the spring, when there is plenty of other fresh vegetative growth to keep deer occupied. Deer are opportunistic, situational feeders, so it’s perilous to generalize about their behavior, but we have seen no evidence of deer browsing in our local stands of Camassia scilloides or even going after the many (reputedly edible) bulbs set by the plants.
Q Matt • March 29 Not really a question but a thumbs-up for this plant. I live in Dallas, TX where we have hard thick clay soil. Many plants struggle with this but your bulbs have shot up green leaves this spring and look healthy. Flower head just starting to develop. I'm sure they will look great! Thanks.
A Prairie Moon • March 29 Thanks for writing, Matt. We’re glad to hear those plants are working for you. You’re weeks ahead of us, but now you’ve heightened my anticipation of seeing those lovely blossoms this spring!
Q Ken • July 10 Will these survive a winter where the temperatures could drop to 15 degrees F
A Prairie Moon • July 10 Hi Ken. Yes, with no doubt in my mind. We are in MN and get much colder temps than that. They overwinter every year here without issue. We list their USDA hardiness zones as 4-8.
Q Bradley • August 29 Your web page references shipping bulbs, but the pricing is for seeds and bare-root plants. Are bulbs a different pricing, or what?
A Prairie Moon • August 30 Thanks for your question Bradley! The Bare root plant pricing does apply to the Bulb pricing."Bare-root" is the umbrella term we use to describe the method of digging up and shipping plants while they are dormant. Camassia scilloides - Wild Hyacinth ships in the form of bulbs instead of actual roots, but the pricing is the same.
Q Stacy • October 29 Great looking bulbs but need to know how deep to plant them. Thanks!
A Prairie Moon • October 30 Hi Stacy, Camassia scilloides - Wild Hyacinth bulbs should be planted with the bottom of the bulb about 4 inches deep. Note the planting depth photo above - these photos are included with each dormant plant order we send.
Q Linda • February 24 Are these flowers fragrant?
A Prairie Moon • February 24 Yes, I would describe these flowers as having a delicate, sweet scent. The fragrance isn't quite as strong as cultivated, non-native varieties.
Q Anna • June 8 Are the bulbs resistant to rabbits?
A Prairie Moon • June 9 Hi Anna. We don't have problems with rabbits eating them around our Nursery, but of course rabbits, like deer, can have different food preferences here in the Upper Midwest to where you might be.

The bulbs are easy to plant, will most likely bloom next spring, and are inexpensive so I would give it a try!

Q Effie • June 10 I purchased a dozen wild hyacinths from you last year and all of them came up this spring. When can I dig them up to transplant elsewhere in the yard?
A Prairie Moon • June 10 Hi Effie. Great question! We usually dig them late-July here in MN and they are totally dormant by then so can be moved around.
Q Anne • August 11 I know some types of bulbs need to be divided every few years or they will stop producing flowers. Is that the case with wild hyacinth? And if so, where can I find some pointers on how to do this?
A Prairie Moon • August 13 Hi Anne, No, you should not need to divide the bulbs to promote blooming. However, if you do wish to divide the bulbs, do it in summer once the plant has gone dormant. A mature plant that has had time to store energy should have little offset bulbs that can be harvested and replanted.
Q Kathy Morrison • August 17 I will be planting (36) bare root bulbs today. I can water for the next (3) days then we’re out of town for about 10 days. Will they be okay without additional watering or should I arrange for someone to water?? If needed, how often should dormant bulbs be watered. Thanks much!!
A Prairie Moon • August 19 Hi Kathy, Watering them into the soil at the time of planting is all the watering that is needed for these dormant bulbs. Since they won't produce any new top growth this year, their water requirements are very low.
Q Tara • August 17 Hi! I just got my bulbs, can I plant them immediately or should I wait until the fall?
A Prairie Moon • August 19 Hi Tara, It is always best to plant your Prairie Moon live plants as soon as you can after receiving them (weather obliging)! Seed is a different story. Summer is a great time to plant Cammassia dormant bulbs. They will set new roots this season, and come up for you next spring.
Q Sara • August 31 Hello - I received my bare root plants and was unable to plant them right away due to travelling. I put them in the fridge. Can I take them out and plant them right away, or should I wait until temps cool down? Thank you.
A Prairie Moon • September 1 Hi Sara, This one should be planted right away. As a dormant root, Camassia will be fine in the summer heat. For future reference, this is one bare root that we actually recommend storing at room temperature, not in the fridge, if you are unable to plant right away. The best way to store this bulb before planting is to take it out of the packaging and keep it in the shade in a spot with good air flow.
SEED:

Growing your own plants from seed is the most economical way to add natives to your home. Before you get started, one of the most important things to know about the seeds of wild plants is that many have built-in dormancy mechanisms that prevent the seed from germinating. In nature, this prevents a population of plants from germinating all at once, before killing frosts, or in times of drought. To propagate native plants, a gardener must break this dormancy before seed will grow.

Each species is different, so be sure to check the GERMINATION CODE listed on the website, in the catalog, or on your seed packet. Then, follow the GERMINATION INSTRUCTIONS prior to planting. Some species don't need any pre-treatment to germinate, but some species have dormancy mechanisms that must be broken before the seed will germinate. Some dormancy can be broken in a few minutes, but some species take months or even years.

Seed dormancy can be broken artificially by prolonged refrigeration of damp seed in the process of cold/moist STRATIFICATION. A less complicated approach is to let nature handle the stratifying through a dormant seeding, sowing seeds on the surface of a weed-free site in late fall or winter. Tucked safely beneath the snow, seeds will be conditioned by weathering to make germination possible in subsequent growing seasons.

To learn more, read our BLOG: How to Germinate Native Seeds

DORMANT BARE ROOT PLANTS:

We dig plants when they are dormant from our outdoor beds and ship them April-May and October. Some species go dormant in the summer and we can ship them July/August. We are among the few still employing this production method, which is labor intensive but plant-friendly. They arrive to you dormant, with little to no top-growth (bare-root), packed in peat moss. They should be planted as soon as possible. Unlike greenhouse-grown plants, bare-root plants can be planted during cold weather or anytime the soil is not frozen. A root photo is included with each species to illustrate the optimal depth and orientation. Planting instructions/care are also included with each order.

Download: Installing Your Bare-Root Plants

POTTED PLANTS:

3-packs and trays of 32, 38, or 50 plants leave our Midwest greenhouses based on species readiness (being well-rooted for transit) and order date; Spring shipping is typically early May through June, and Fall shipping is mid-August through September. Potted 3-packs and trays of 38 plugs are started from seed in the winter so are typically 3-4 months old when they ship. Trays of 32/50 plugs are usually overwintered so are 1 year old. Plant tray cells are approximately 2” wide x 5” deep in the trays of 38 and 50, and 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep in the 3-packs and trays of 32; ideal for deep-rooted natives. Full-color tags and planting & care instructions are included with each order.

Download: Planting and Care of Potted Plants

*PLEASE NOTE: we are a mail order nursery and have no retail facilities, but you may pick up your order if prior arrangements are made. Pick up orders are subject to **MN Sales Tax.

Shipping & Handling Charges:
SEED $100.00 and under: $5.00
Retail SEED orders over $100.00 ship free! Custom seed mixes or wholesale seed sales over $100, add 5% of the total seed cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required)

BARE ROOT and POTTED PLANTS $50.00 and under: $7.50
over $50.00: 15% of the total plant cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required)

TOOLS and BOOKS have the shipping fee included in the cost of the product (within the contiguous US).

**We are required to collect state sales tax in certain states. Your state's eligibility and % will be calculated at checkout. MN State Sales Tax of 7.375% is applied for orders picked up at our MN location. Shipping & handling charges are also subject to the sales tax.

Shipping Season:

SEED, TOOLS and BOOKS are sent year-round. Most orders ship within a day or two upon receipt.

BARE ROOT PLANTS are shipped during optimal transplanting time: Spring (April-May) and Fall (Oct). Some ephemeral species are also available for summer shipping. Since our plants are field-grown, Nature sets the schedule each year as to when our season will begin and end. We fill all orders, on a first-come, first-serve basis, to the best of our ability depending on weather conditions beyond our control.

POTTED PLANTS (Trays of 32/38/50 plugs and 3-packs) typically begin shipping early May and go into June; shipping time is heavily dependent on all the species in your order being well-rooted. If winter-spring greenhouse growing conditions are favorable and all species are well-rooted at once, then we ship by order date (first come, first serve).  We are a Midwest greenhouse, and due to the challenges of getting all the species in the Mix & Match and Pre-Designed Garden Kits transit-ready at the same time, we typically can't ship before early May.  Earlier shipment requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

*We are unable to ship PLANTS (bare root or potted) outside the contiguous US or to CALIFORNIA due to regulations.

Delivery:

We ship using USPS, UPS and Spee Dee. UPS and Spee Dee are often used for expediting plant orders; they will not deliver to Post Office Box numbers, so please also include your street address if ordering plants. We send tracking numbers to your email address so please include it when you order.

FOR MORE DETAILED SHIPPING INFORMATION, INCLUDING CANADA SHIPPING RATES (SEED ONLY), PLEASE SEE 'SHIPPING' AT THE FOOTER OF THIS WEBSITE.

iDetails

Seeds/Packet
40
Seeds/Ounce
5,500
Germination Code
M
Life Cycle
Perennial
Sun Exposure
Full, Partial
Soil Moisture
Medium-Wet, Medium, Medium-Dry
Height
2 feet
Bloom Time
May, June
Bloom Color
Blue
Advantages
Pollinator Favorite: butterflies, bees and birds Highly recommended for home landscaping
USDA Zones
4-8
Plant Spacing
8-12"
Catalog Number
CAM02F