IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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This little-known species is sometimes confused with Camassia scilloides (Wild Hyacinth), which is more common within the state. Both species are attractive wildflowers with similar habitat preferences. Their appearance is quite similar, which can make them difficult to tell apart. Prairie Hyacinth begins to flower about a month later than Wild Hyacinth and there is little overlap in their blooming periods; this is one good reason why they should be considered separate species. The flowering stalk of Prairie Hyacinth has 3-20 (or more) persistent bracts underneath the blooming flowers, while Wild Hyacinth has 0-2 deciduous bracts underneath the flowers of its stalks. The seed capsules of Prairie Hyacinth are longer than they are wide, while the seed capsules of Wild Hyacinth are about as long as they are wide. The flowers of Prairie Hyacinth tend to have shorter styles, shorter stamens, and tepals that are a little shorter and more deeply colored, but these distinctions are less reliable, or they require the careful use of a ruler or measuring tape in the field.

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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