few years ago, on the AGS trip to the Colorado
Rockies, we saw Zigadenus
elegans - the picture here was at Mosquito
Pass, in the Mosquito Range, at about 13,000
very attractive plant - but its common name is
Mountain Death Camas. The indigenous peoples
knew it, and had to make sure they didn't
confuse it with very similar monocots whose
roots and bulbs were eaten - such as alliums
and camassia. All parts of the zigadenus are
poisonous, able to cause an unpleasant death,
due to the alkaloid zigadenine, and was used
on poisoned arrows !
2008, I sowed some seed - and this year, for
the first time, it has flowered - maybe the
unusually hot summer helped.