Every year, between April and June, the small oak savannahs in the middle of Salem, Oregon become blueish-purple with camas flowers. Bush’s Pasture is one of the largest places to find these historical flowers blooming every spring. The Willamette Valley and other parts of the northwest used to have large amounts of this flower, grown from a bulb. Different native tribes would trade and use the bulbs for food or a sweetener. I was lucky to learn this information fom an outdoorsy elementary school teacher back in school. We learned about the Kalapuya and Nez Perce tribes who collected the camas bulbs, and even shared them with Lewis and Clark on their infamous expedition.
Today, not as many fields of camas survive, likely because of the changing enviroment and building on lands. But, places like Bush Park still exist where the flowers can be enjoyed year after year. Please enjoy this photo set of the camas bloom this year, as well as previous years.
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