Definition of camas in English:

camas

Syllabification: cam·as
Pronunciation: /ˈkaməs
 
/
(also camass or quamash)

noun

  • 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
    More 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.

Origin

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

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