Wild hyacinth — Camassia scilloides

Wild Hyacinth - Camassia scilloides

Wild Hyacinth is a beautiful perennial that is found in moist open woods or meadows, where they get plenty of sun, in the spring. They grow up to two feet tall and have a pale blue blossom. If you are not looking for them, you will miss them. Most of the time, they are easily over looked.

It blooms from April through May, depending on how warm the season is.

Because this flower was over harvested in years past by the Native Americans and the early explorers they are threatened in Michigan and North Carolina and endangered in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The bulbs of it are very tasty when boiled or baked in tinfoil.

This plant is found mostly west of the Appalachian Highlands, but when found it is abundant. In eastern Kentucky it seems to prefer limestone soil along streams and on the hillsides where it is dry to moist and in open shade to partial sunlight.

The only common names that I could find for this plant is wild hyacinth, eastern camass and camass-lily, but there may be others so to be safe you may want to call it Camassia scilloides and nobody will know what you're talking about except the serious naturalists.

Wild hyacinth isn’t a common plant and most of the people that I know that are familiar with them are photographers and botanists.

This plant reproduces by the seeds. The seeds are in a capsule and that falls straight down so that when you find one there are several others close by. Its blossoms serve as a food source for bees, butterflies, wasps and anything that needs or uses the nectar.

Wild hyacinth is a beautiful flower so when you see them enjoy them, photograph them and let them spread so that other people can enjoy them too.

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