If you have a meadow-style planting scheme, a border in dappled shade or a container space in a cool corner of the patio, Camassia leichtlinii ‘Semiplena’ is a beautiful and useful choice for providing height, structure and movement. Flowering in late spring with upright spires of starry double flowers, this incredibly elegant and simple variety is versatile, long-lasting and wonderfully rewarding, returning each year for a spectacular spring display!
Camassia leichtlinii ‘Semiplena’, are an absolute joy to watch unfurl from mid to late spring, maintaining a fresh floral burst which leads the garden through to the start of summer. Each stem bearing multiple blooms which open from the bottom upwards, this magnificent display lasts for several weeks. Although Camassia leichtlinii ‘Semiplena’ most enjoys a damp, partially shady spot, it’s relatively unfussy in the way that it will also tolerate a sunny border too, as long as the soil isn’t too dry and that it’s not exposed to hot sun all day long. Given the right conditions, this superb variety is easy to grow and will bring years of enjoyment as it naturalises in the ground and produces more and more flower spikes each year.
How to grow Camassia leichtlinii 'Semiplena'
You can create a really spectacular display with Camassia leichtlinii ‘Semiplena’, whether you plant them in big drifts running through a border where their starry flowers can shine together and make a really eye-catching feature, or dot them around in a natural, meadow-style planting scheme or orchard. The best way to create a successful display with these is to ensure you provide the perfect spot for them. They need damp, cool soil, particularly throughout spring when they’re preparing to flower. Camassias look most at home in an informal garden, planted under trees, or through long, wild grass. They will also do well in a partially shaded border. Here are some simple steps to guide you through growing your own camassias:
- Plant in autumn, anytime from September to late November. Choose a suitable location for to plant your camassia bulbs, in full sun or partial shade with rich, moisture-retentive soil.
- Your camassia bulbs will have a rounded side with roots and a pointed side. The pointed side is the top side, and when planting this should be positioned facing upwards.
- Use a bulb planter or trowel to dig a hole, 10-15cm deep, for each bulb. Position one bulb in the hole and cover it back over with soil. If you’re planting them in a groups, allow 15-20cm of space between them.
- It is possible to grow this variety in large, sturdy containers. Choose a pot which is at least 40cm in diameter and plant the bulbs 10-15cm deep in a soil or loam-based compost. Ensure there is adequate drainage at the bottom, such as a layer of grit or stones. Plant the bulbs a little closer together in a container than you would in a border, 10-15cm apart is ideal.
- After planting, give the camassia bulbs a good watering to settle them into the soil.
- The bulbs will remain dormant throughout winter and then begin to emerge from mid spring.
- After flowering, allow the stems to fully die back before cutting them down. This way, they can continue to transfer energy to the bulb for as long as possible which will help them to naturalise and put on a good display of flowers the next year.
Camassia leichtlinii 'Semiplena' in brief
- Grown from bulbs, plant in autumn
- Flowers during spring
- Ideal for borders, containers, meadows
- Thrives in full sun or light shade
- Fully hardy, flowers every year
- Easy to grow, perfect for beginners
- Grows to 60-70 tall
What to plant with double Camassias
Plants with white flowers are incredibly popular for their versatility in the garden and ability to combine well with varieties of any other colour. Wherever you plant them, their stunning flowers will provide a wonderful highlight as well as helping to accentuate the colours of surrounding plants. When you’re choosing a planting combination, it’s essential to choose varieties which will thrive in the same conditions, flower at a similar height and at the same time of year. If those factors match, they will make perfect partners! Here are some of our favourite planting partners for Camassia leichtlinii ‘Semiplena’:
Pale mauve and white are a classic colour combo, and when you pair Tulip ‘Lilac Perfection’ and Camassia leichtlinii ‘Semiplena’ together you get true harmony, not only in terms of colour but also contrasting flower structure. Flowering simultaneously between April and late May, these two are ideal for intermingling with each other in a border or large container. They both have similar heights, but the tulip provides a dense covering of purple while the camassias peep through with their slightly taller flower spikes.
Camassia leichtlinii 'Semiplena' + Fritillaria acmopetala
Both perfect for growing through grass, Fritillaria acmopetala and Camassia leichtlinii ‘Semiplena’ look great in a natural meadow-style planting. But even if you don’t have a wild area of the garden, they’ll do just fine in a semi-shaded border or large patio container. The nodding blooms of the fritillaries hang gracefully from upright stems, providing a lovely contrast against the tall spires of the camassia.
Create a contrasting architectural display of Camassias with ‘Semi-Plena’ and ‘Blue Donau’. Both are the same size, shape and structure, providing upright spikes of starry double flowers through borders, large containers or meadow plantings during late spring. By planting these long-lasting beauties, you can enjoy a natural display which returns year after year.