Death Camas

Zygadenus gramineus

Death Camas


Death camas is common in Saskatchewan and Alberta, and is usually found in upland draws and depressions. The plants reach a grazable height before most grasses so are most dangerous in the spring. All parts of the plant are poisonous, especially the bulbs, which may be confused with the wild onion. A lethal dose is considered to be 2 to 2.5 pounds of the green weight of the plant per 100 pounds of body weight. Symptoms appear from one and a half hours to eight hours after eating parts of the plant. They consist of abdominal pains, nausea, vomiting, trembling, muscular weakness, struggling for breath, lowered body temperature, coma and death.