Mystery Flora: Starry Lavender-Blue Delights

Sometimes, rest areas are fruitful avenues of exploration. Take this little rest stop along the I5 near Douglas, Oregon. Lockwood and I stopped there during our May 2013 trip, and I’m pretty sure we didn’t expect to spend so much time out in the weeds. But what wonderful weeds they were! There was a little forest meadowy area filled with delights. These were among the most spectacular:

Image shows a cluster of six-petaled, purplish-blue flowers with long stamens. There's a bee at one.
Mystery flora I

They were rather tall, with slender stems, and those magnificent floral heads:

Image shows several stalks of the flower growing. They are tall, with very narrow leaves, and the flower bunches are at the top.
Mystery flora II

Some of them had tipped over and were growing parallel to the ground.

Image shows one of the flowers snaking along in a horizontal position
Mystery flora III

Go home, flower, you’re drunk.

These were simple, yet rather spectacular, blooms. I hope you’re not about to tell me they’re evil invasives. Look at how pretty they are!

Image shows two stalks of the flowers, both with clusters of blooms. Another stalk has bloomed closer to the ground between them.
Mystery flora IV

These are the kinds of flowers you’d choose if you had to create a fairy-themed garden.

Image shows a cluster of flowers in close-up.
Mystery flora V

I can imagine Titania weaving these into her hair.

Image shows another bunch, with sunlight behind them.
Mystery flora VI

They’re simply fabulous.

A single bloom and many buds. The buds are very long and very purple.
Mystery flora VII

Please don’t let them be evil….

A duo of blooms with many buds.
Mystery flora VIII

They’re a bit like floral fireworks, aren’t they? Even if they turn out to be horrible invasive plants, I love them deeply.

Mystery Flora: Starry Lavender-Blue Delights

8 thoughts on “Mystery Flora: Starry Lavender-Blue Delights

  1. rq

    It is! IT IS! It is a variant of hyacinth (LOVE THOSE FLOWERS), you can tell they smell delicious from all the way over here.
    Anyway, it is the common camas, also known as the wild hyacinth. And yes, it is native, even useful:

    Camassia species were an important food staple for Native Americans and settlers in parts of the American Old West. Many areas in the Northwest are named for the plant, including the city of Camas, Washington, Lacamas Creek in southern Washington,[1] the Camas Prairie in northern Idaho (and its Camas Prairie Railroad), and Camas County in southern Idaho.


  2. rq

    From the first link, this strikes me as a beautiful image:

    Lewis and Clark reported that this plant occurred in such huge quantities that the meadows resembled lakes of clear water.

    Imagine that, the entire meadow like a lake of clear water. Would love to see that!
    (What wine?)

  3. rq

    There’s a bee…? Oh! There is!
    I went with the common camas (quamash) because of the less dense flowers on the stem, but it could be leichtlinii, too. Same colour.

Comments are closed.