Nuttall's Death-camas

Nuttall's Death-camas
Nuttall's Death-camas
 Jim Mason

Nuttall's Death-camas
Toxicoscordion nuttallii

 

Family Lily
Longevity Perennial
Height 1 - 2 feet

Bloom Period

March April May June July August September October
  • Description: Leaves arise from bulbs. Basal leaves are long, folded lengthwise, inch wide and form a clump. Flower stalks, topped with greenish-white flower clusters, are erect from the center of the leaves.
  • Comments: All parts of the plant are poisonous to people and livestock. Plants and underground bulbs resemble wild onions but without the onion odor. Human poisonings have occurred from mistaking Nuttall’s Death-camas for onions. Moth larvae of the Eupithecia genus feed exclusively on death-camas. They sequester the toxins for their own protection. Most animals avoid the plants. In May, after a spring pasture burn, few prairie plants are ungrazed, but one of them is death-camas. Nuttall’s Death-camas is found on open prairies and rocky hillsides in the eastern one-third of Kansas.


Nuttall's Death-camas
 David Welfelt

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The Meadow
Text: Iralee Barnard
Design: Jim Mason