This flood plain and moist prairie plant is a member of the lily family and is characterized by small bulbs, like those of a small tulip in size and shape. Light blue-violet flowers begin to bloom in late May and progress from the bottom toward the top of the spike-like raceme. It thrives in full sun, but also tolerates open shade such as provided by a woodland edge. It likes rich, acidic soils, but can tolerate clay soils with adequate moisture, especially when it is in flower.
Attractive to insects seeking nectar and pollen, Camassia scilloides re-seeds itself and, though slow to establish, is long-lived. By mid-summer, the basal leaves turn yellow and wither away and the plant remains dormant for the rest of the year.
Photo Credit: Jay Sturner from USA, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons