[The Death-camas of the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Foothill Death Camas, Panicled Deathcamas, Panicled Death Camas, Panicled Zigadenus, Sand Corn

Toxicoscordion paniculatum

Synonyms: Helonias paniculatus, Zigadenus paniculatus

Foothill Death Camas, Panicled Deathcamas, Panicled Death Camas, Panicled Zigadenus, Sand Corn: Toxicoscordion paniculatum (Synonyms: Helonias paniculatus, Zigadenus paniculatus)

The photo above shows panicled death-camas as seen at Horsethief Butte, to the northeast of TheDalles, OR..........April 24, 2006.

Flowers of Foothill Death Camas, Panicled Deathcamas, Panicled Death Camas, Panicled Zigadenus, Sand Corn: Toxicoscordion paniculatum (Synonyms: Helonias paniculatus, Zigadenus paniculatus)The photo at right shows a close-up of one of the lower branches of the panicle of panicled death-camas as seen on Mt. Adams........June 2005.
Characteristics:

Panicled death-camas is a beautiful but deadly lily. It is typically a single stout stem arising from 30 to 50 cm from a tunicated bulb. The linear leaves have parallel venation and are on the stem, but at its base. Those leaves found higher on the stem are much reduced in size. The longest leaves are 15 to 40 cm long and 3 to 12 mm wide.

The inflorescence is paniculate, although the upper flowers may be racemose. This means the lower panicles are clusters of flowers coming off the stem, while the upper racemes would consist of single flowers coming off the stem. The inflorescence is much longer than in Zigadene venenosus, ranging from 10 to 30 cm in length. The tepals are white or cream color. The flowers are mostly perfect, although occasionally the lower flowers may be staminate.

As mentioned above, this plant is deadly to ingest. It is sometimes found interspersed with the edible camas, and native tribes often removed it from the camas beds while both were in bloom, as the bulbs of both are similar.


Habitat:

Panicled death-camas may be found living in sandy or rocky areas to meadows often interspersed with sagebrush.


Range:

Panicled death-camas is commonly found from the Pacific Coast inland to the Great Plains, north into British Columbia, and south to Baja California.

In the Columbia River Gorge, panicled death-camas may be found between the elevations of 100'-1200' from near Catherine Creek east past Biggs, OR.


Panicle of Foothill Death Camas, Panicled Deathcamas, Panicled Death Camas, Panicled Zigadenus, Sand Corn: Toxicoscordion paniculatum (Synonyms: Helonias paniculatus, Zigadenus paniculatus)

The photo above shows a close-up of the inflorescence of panicled death-camas. On this species, only the upper branches of the inflorescence might bear single flowers, while meadow death-camas is largely a raceme, with all branches of the inflorescence bearing single flowers, although occasionally, the lowermost branches may bear 2-3 flowers.


Flowers of Foothill Death Camas, Panicled Deathcamas, Panicled Death Camas, Panicled Zigadenus, Sand Corn: Toxicoscordion paniculatum (Synonyms: Helonias paniculatus, Zigadenus paniculatus)

The photo above shows a close-up of one of the branches of the panicle of panicled death-camas. Photographed at Horsethief Butte, northeast of The Dalles, OR...........April 24, 2006.

Inflorescence of Foothill Death Camas, Panicled Deathcamas, Panicled Death Camas, Panicled Zigadenus, Sand Corn: Toxicoscordion paniculatum (Synonyms: Helonias paniculatus, Zigadenus paniculatus)

Panicled deathcamas as seen on slopes above the east side of Canyon Creek in the Klickitat State Wildlife Area........May 8, 2009.

Foothill Death Camas, Panicled Deathcamas, Panicled Death Camas, Panicled Zigadenus, Sand Corn: Toxicoscordion paniculatum (Synonyms: Helonias paniculatus, Zigadenus paniculatus) - Foothill Death Camas, Panicled Deathcamas, Panicled Death Camas, Panicled Zigadenus, Sand Corn: Toxicoscordion paniculatum (Synonyms: Helonias paniculatus, Zigadenus paniculatus)

Basal leaves of panicled deathcamas as seen (left) from the slopes above the east side of Canyon Creek, Klickitat Wildlife Area...........March 1, 2015. The photo at right shows panicled deatcamas as seen beginning to bloom under oaks at the trailhead for the Cherry Orchard Trail off Washington Highway SR14.........March 11, 2016.

Foothill Death Camas, Panicled Deathcamas, Panicled Death Camas, Panicled Zigadenus, Sand Corn: Toxicoscordion paniculatum (Synonyms: Helonias paniculatus, Zigadenus paniculatus)

Panicled deathcamas as seen near the South Breaks Road, Klickitat Wildlife Area...........May 1, 2014.

Panicle of Foothill Death Camas, Panicled Deathcamas, Panicled Death Camas, Panicled Zigadenus, Sand Corn: Toxicoscordion paniculatum (Synonyms: Helonias paniculatus, Zigadenus paniculatus)

A close-up of the panicle of panicled deathcamas as seen on the first grassy bench along the Lyle-Cherry Orchard Trail about one-half mile east of Lyle, WA.........April 2, 2015.

Paul Slichter