Wild Hyacinth (Camassia scilloides)

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Item #: CASCIs
Binomial Camassia scilloides

Wild Hyacinth is a later ephemeral species that blooms in late spring and is often dormant by mid summer. Flower color varies from pale blue or lilac to nearly white. It tolerates a range of conditions and can be found from rich woodlands to limestone glades. "April showers" help this plant thrive during its growing season, and its ephemeral nature gives it the ability to survive periods of drought during summer.


The bulbs of mature wild hyacinths are usually no larger than three centimeters and were once widely used as a food source by native Americans and early settlers. However, eating the bulbs is now strongly discouraged as there is a poisonous look-alike: the Death Camas, Zigadenus nuttallii. It is also sometimes confused with its less-common, close relative Camassia angusta. Dormant bulbs should be planted about 4 inches deep.


The flowers attract a number of nectar-seeking pollinators--primarily bees, flies, and wasps. While deer may occasionally munch on the plant, the damage is mostly aesthetic as the nutrient-rich bulb is usually pretty deep below ground and can recover from the attack.


Uses: Pollinators, cut flowers, drought tolerant, edible (not recommended), juglone tolerant

Bloom time: April to May


Height: 15 to 30 inches

Space: 4 to 6 inches


Sun: Full sun to medium shade

Moisture: Dry to average


Seed: Seed sown outdoors by mid January should germinate with warm temperatures in April or May. It likely needs at least one or two months of cold-moist stratification.


  • 200 seeds per packet
  • 8,000 seeds per ounce
  • 1 ounce per 260 square feet (yields ~30 seeds per square foot)

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