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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Camosun - "Place to Gather Camas"

Pictured above is a Camas Lily (Camassia quamash). This indigenous wild flower gave Victoria its original name of Camosun or "place to gather camas." The bulb was regularly harvested by the Songhees Nation. Their harvesting and cultivation practices for this plant resulted in the beautiful meadows that inspired Hudson Bay Factor James Douglas to build Fort Victoria on the site of the modern city. Some remnants of these meadows, known now as the Garry Oak Ecosystem, may still be seen in Beacon Hill Park. Were it not for this flower there might well not be any modern city of Victoria.

1 comment:

USelaine said...

That's terrific information, and a gorgeous photo of the flower. I'll have to read more about it.