Saturday, May 2, 2009
The big star of the garry oak meadows in early May is the Camas flower. It grows from a bulb and blooms like a larger star shaped bluebell, but a much deeper blue.
Native peoples who lived here in previous centuries cultivated and harvested the bulbs for food. Apparently there's also a rare mutation, the White Camas which is reputed to be poison.
In any case the Blue Camas is a big deal in Victoria. About fifteen years ago the city realized that if it didn't cut the grass in Beacon Hill Park the Camas bulbs would bloom. I still remember driving by the park and being entranced by the blue meadow. Since then I make sure to visit as as many local parks as I can while it's in bloom. These two Border Collies, litter mates to my two, are enjoying some time at Mount Tolmie Park.