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Excerpts from the North American Lily Society Website :

...true lilies . . . or to be technicalů members of the genus Lilium have special characteristics that differentiate them from other "Lily" plants. The bulb is usually the most distinguishing characteristic. It is composed of fleshy scales without a protective outer coating. A true lily is never dormant . . . it must be considered and treated as a living perennial plant. Lily bulbs may be kept in cool storage for a few months, but special care must be taken to keep them fresh and moist.


Excerpts from the city of Camas website:

Camas Lily flowers, though completely varied in size, shape and color, always have six petals and six anthers. Stems, leaves and roots have distinguishing features too.

Blossoming with clusters of showy deep blue flowers, something like a hyacinth in habit, the Camas Lily was eagerly sought by Columbia river valley Indians, since its bulb was an important part of their diet. Grown in meadows and marshes, it was harvested in mid-summer and prepared for eating, cooking in primitive baking pits, first being wrapped in swamp grass before contact with hot stones. When the cooked bulbs were dry, they were reduced to a flour from which bread could be made. When boiled in water, the bulbs yielded a molasses that was treasured for use on important festival occasions. Indians called the flower the KAMASS.