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Camassia esculenta.

Botanical name:

Camassia esculenta Lindl. Liliaceae. Common Camass. Kamosh. Quamash.

Northwestern America. The root forms the greater part of the vegetable food of the Indians on the northwest coast of America and Vancouver Island and is called kamosh or quamash. This bulbous root is said to be of delicious flavor and highly nutritious, but Lewis says it causes bowel complaints if eaten in quantity. This plant covers many plains and is dug by the women and stored for eating, roasted or boiled. The bulbs, when boiled in water, yield a very good molasses, which is much prized and is used on festival occasions by various tribes of Indians. In France, it is an inmate of the flower garden.


Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World, 1919, was edited by U. P. Hedrick.



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