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Camassia quamash subsp. breviflora

Higher Taxonomy
Family: AgavaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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.
Genera In Family: 23 genera, 637 species: worldwide.
eFlora Treatment Author: Dale W. McNeal, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Dale W. McNeal, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: CamassiaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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. Chromosomes: n=15.
Species In Genus: +- 6 species, 4 in northwestern North America. Etymology: (chamass, qám'es, or quamash, Native American word) Note: California species highly variable, may hybridize, in need of study; bulbs traded among, eaten by Native Americans, perhaps creating local forms.

Camassia quamash (Pursh) Greene subsp. breviflora Gould
Habit: 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.
Ecology: Wet meadows; Elevation: < 2500 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, CaR, n SNH; Distribution Outside California: to Washington, Nevada. Flowering Time: May--Jul Note: Several proposed subspecies (only 1 from California) evidently are +- minor geographic variants.
Synonyms: Camassia quamash (Pursh) Greene subsp. linearis Gould
eFlora Treatment Author: Dale W. McNeal
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botanical illustration including Camassia quamash subsp. breviflora


Citation for this treatment: Dale W. McNeal 2017. Camassia quamash subsp. breviflora, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 22, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 22, 2017.

Camassia quamash subsp. breviflora
click for enlargement
© 2008 George W. Hartwell
Camassia quamash subsp. breviflora
click for enlargement
© 2012 Vernon Smith
Camassia quamash subsp. breviflora
click for enlargement
© 2013 Vernon Smith
Camassia quamash subsp. breviflora
click for enlargement
© 2008 George W. Hartwell
Camassia quamash subsp. breviflora
click for enlargement
© 2008 George W. Hartwell
Camassia quamash subsp. breviflora
click for enlargement
© 2013 Vernon Smith

More photos of Camassia quamash subsp. breviflora in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Camassia quamash subsp. breviflora:
NW, CaR, n SNH;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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).

View elevation by latitude chart
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.