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Dale W. McNeal, except as noted

Perennial herb, shrub, tree, fibrous succulent or not, from bulbs or rhizomes. Stem: above ground or not, branched or not. Leaf: simple, deciduous or not, basal or in terminal rosettes, generally sessile, linear, lanceolate, oblanceolate or ovate, fibrous or not, thin and flexible or thick and rigid or succulent; margin entire, fine-serrate, dentate, or with filaments, tips rigid or flexible, with a spine or not. Flower: bisexual; perianth parts 6, in 2 petal-like whorls, free or ± fused; stamens 6, ± fused to perianth, filaments often wide, succulent; ovary superior or inferior, chambers 3, style 1 (thick, poorly defined), stigma head-like or 3-lobed. Fruit: capsule, indehiscent, loculicidal, or septicidal. Seed: few to many, ± flat or ovoid, generally black.
23 genera, 637 species: worldwide. —Scientific Editors: Dale W. McNeal, Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Agavaceae

Perennial herb; bulb 1 [or clustered (each bulb has 1 leaf-cluster, 1 scape, or both, so no need to dig up bulbs to make this determination)], coat black or brown. Leaf: basal, linear, keeled, glabrous. Inflorescence: scapose raceme; flowers 3–many; bracts 1–6 cm, narrow-lanceolate, scarious in age; pedicels 1–5 cm, spreading or incurved in fruit. Flower: ± radial (or bilateral); perianth parts 6, in 2 petal-like whorls, fused < 5% of length, 12–40 mm, lanceolate, blue to ± purple (white), 3–9 veined, twisted together above ovary in fruit [or not]; stamens 6, anthers generally 4–7 mm, attached at middle; ovary chambers 3. Fruit: loculicidal. Seed: 6–36, black.
± 6 species, 4 in northwestern North America. (chamass, qám'es, or quamash, Native American word) [Uyeda & Kephart 2006 Syst Bot 31:643–655] California species highly variable, may hybridize, in need of study; bulbs traded among, eaten by Native Americans, perhaps creating local forms.

Key to Camassia

C. quamash (Pursh) Greene subsp. breviflora Gould
Bulb generally 1, 1–5 cm. Stem: 2–5 dm. Leaf: generally < 10, 1.5–3 dm, 6–17 mm wide. Inflorescence: often dense; flowers several to many, (4)10–20+ open at once. Flower: bilateral to ± radial, blue violet to bright blue; perianth parts generally 3-veined, persistent, forced apart by expanding fruit. Fruit: ovoid, 8–20 mm. Seed: 5–10 per chamber.
Wet meadows; < 2500 m. Northwestern California, Cascade Range, n High Sierra Nevada; to Washington, Nevada. [Camassia quamash (Pursh) Greene subsp. linearis Gould] Several proposed subspecies (only 1 from California) evidently are ± minor geographic variants. May–Jul [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Camassia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Camassia quamash subsp. breviflora Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.