Camas Flower: Death or Glory!

Both the white and blue flowers in the photo above are camas. The white one will kill you, but the blue one is food. The native people of the Portland area considered blue camas root a staple. It took three days of cooking in underground fire pits to make it edible. The bulb is said to taste like a sugary, sweet potato. You can see the camas bulb, dug up in a horse pasture by Portland herbalist Emily Porter, in the photos below.

Here’s a closeup of the bulb in my hand:

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