Share this entry
camas Syllabification: cam·as
Pronunciation: /ˈkaməs/
(also camass or quamash)

Definition of camas in English:


A North American plant of the lily family, cultivated for its starry blue or purple flowers.
  • Genera Camassia and Zigadenus, family Liliaceae: several species, including C. quamash, the large bulbs of which are edible
Example sentences
  • More commonly known as a spring bulb with a vibrant blue flower, quamash is native to Canada and the western United States, and its edible bulb was once a mainstay of native diets.
  • The most significant of the edibles, camas was eaten during the first of many friendly encounters with the Nez Perce along Idaho's Clearwater River.
  • The wetter areas support meadows containing Missouri goldenrod, false toadflax, golden-glow, Indian paintbrush, Mariposa lily, death camas, and prairie smoke.


Mid 19th century: from Chinook Jargon qamas̆, qawas̆, perhaps from Nootka.

Definition of camas in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources