Stem erect. Leaves slender and long, hairless. Flower spike with many flowers open all at the same time. Flowers blue to purple, occasionally white, star-shaped, opening wide; pollen bright yellow or dull yellow to violet. Grows in moist meadows that dry by summer at low to high elevations. Plant varies in size and color over its very large range. Subsp. quamash is slender, flowers somewhat sparse on stem, anthers dull yellow to violet. Subsp. breviflora is stout, flowers dense, anthers bright yellow. Lewis and Clark reported that this plant occurred in such huge quantities that the meadows resembled lakes of clear water.
- Rarity: Common
- Flowering Time: Mid Spring
- Life Cycle: Perennial
- Height: 6--26 inches
- Habitat: Meadow, Bog/Fen/Wetland, Vernal Wet
- Found In: Olympic Np, Mt. Rainier Np, N Cascades Np, Wallowas, Steens, West Gorge, East Gorge, Siskiyous
- Native: Yes