Meadow Death Camas
Meadow Death Camas
With the reputation of being the plant that has killed more people in the Pacific Northwest than any other plant ever will, the death camas is a rather plain-looking, white-flowered member of the bunchflower family that often grows in and among the historically significant common camas, which has been used as a food source for centuries, if not millennia. The corm (think of something similar to a tulip or daffodil bulb) of the common blue-flowering camas was an extremely important food source for the native peoples and settling pioneers, and when dug up when not in flower, the nutritious common camas corm and the highly poisonous death camas corm are virtually indistinguishable. This was one of hundreds found and photographed among the edible common camas on Fidalgo Island in Anacortes, Washington on a mid-April afternoon almost at the very edge of the high cliffs overlooking Rosario Strait.
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