Zigadenus venenosus

From Puget Prairie Plants

Zigadenus venenosus,Liliaceae, Death Camas, Meadow Death Camas, Common Death Camas

Zigadenus venenosus


Taxonomy

Description

General: Glabrous perennial herbs from an onion-like bulb, the simple stem 2-5 dm. tall. Leaves: Leaves mostly basal, linear, keeled, 1-3 dm. long and 3-6 mm. broad; cauline leaves strongly reduced upward. Flowers: Inflorescence a raceme (but sometimes the raceme branched at the base) up to 1.5 dm. long, the flowers all perfect; perianth white to cream-colored, bell-shaped; tepals 6, unequal, the outer 4.5-5 mm. long, short-clawed, the inner about 0.5 mm. longer with a narrower, slightly longer claw; the gland at the base of each tepal yellowish-green, broader than long; stamens 6, about equal to the tepals; styles 3, distinct, 2-3 mm. long. Fruit: Capsule 8-15 mm. long.

Bloom Period

April-July

Distribution

British Columbia to Baja California, east to the Dakotas; more common west of the Cascades in Washington

Habitat

Ecological Setting Coastal bluffs and prairies, and moister areas of shrub-steppe and mountain meadows

Uses

Propagation

First Nations-Used as a violent emetic, sometimes mixed with blue flag; poultice of mashed roots applied to rheumatism, boils, bruises, sprains, sore legs, burns, swellings, rattlesnake bites, and broken bones to speed healing; mashed roots sometimes used as an arrow poison Other-This plant is highly toxic and can be weedy or invasive according to the authoritative source

Seed

Basic Explanations and Assumptions:

The dimensions for the seeds are length x width x depth. The location of the hilum is used as the base of the seed, and the length is measured from hilum to the opposite apex. Where a style is present, the length is measured from the hilum to the bottom of the style. Width is measured at a right angle to the length at the widest part. Depth is measured at a right angle to the intersection of height and width lines.

Measurements included are the mean average for each measurement of ten separate seeds.

All measurements in millimeters unless otherwise noted.

References

Photo Gallery