Botanic name: Camassia quamash
Common name: common camas
Botanic name: Camassia leichtlinii
Common name: Leichtlin’s camas
In the upper garden along the main path to the east is a thick patch of camas. The name, camas, comes from the Nez Perce for “sweet.” Prior to settlers arriving, several Northwestern native peoples depended upon vast camas filled prairies as an important food source. Camassia quamash is the lighter variety, while Camassia leichtlinii is the darker.
Botanic name: Disporum smithii
Common name: Smith’s fairybell
This northwestern native lily species produces bell-shaped hanging flowers along slender stems that may grow up to 3’ in height, and are sometimes sheltered by wide, oval-shaped leaves up to 1’ long. Bees adore the blooms! Post flowering, you will notice red or orange oval-shaped berries.
Botanic name: Rhododendron x loderi ‘King George’
Common name: King George rhododendron
One of the most flamboyant residents in the garden this time of year are the rhododendrons. The fragrant, bell-shaped groups of pink buds may overshadow the relatively pale leaves on this shrub. This is another popular spot for pollinators.
Botanic name: Rhodotypos scandens
Common name: jetbead
Who would believe that such delicate, white flowers could produce clumps jet blackbead-shaped fruit? This Asian shrub does exactly that. It grows 3-6” in height, and may spread 4-9” across. The ovate, serrate, medium leaves can be seen amongst the bloom, and later the berries. The bees are enjoying it this spring - come and see.
Can you find these glorious Leach Garden residents?