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Gardens and Fauna
Camas plant
Star Trees at Willamette University
Bush Pasture Gardens
Redwood tree
Cooking Up Camas
The beautiful blue blooms you see in the fields and meadows in the Willamette Valley in early spring is the camas - - a staple in the diet of the Kalapuya Indians. A type of lily, the camas was (and still is) readily available in the wild. The bulbous root resembles the onion in shape and consistency but is considerably more bland in taste. Camas has also been called a wild hyacinth. According to the journals of Merriwether Lewis, the Indians either ate the quamash "in its natural state, or boiled into a kind of soup, or made into a cake, which is then called pasheco. Learn More

Heritage Trees of Marion County
The nation’s largest known black cottonwood is located in Willamette Mission State Park north of Salem. This 147-foot-tall tree stands near the site of Jason Lee’s first Methodist Mission in the 1830s and along the course of the Willamette River prior to the flood of 1861. With a 27-foot circum-ference, the tree possible provided shade to Lee and his assistants. At present, the cottonwood is the only national champion in the state park. Access to the tree is readily available... Learn More

Historic Gardens of Salem
Built by Mr. Bush for his daughters in 1882, is now the oldest greenhouse in Oregon and is filled with period plants, maintained by volunteers.Originally the home of Asahel Bush, pioneer banker and newspaperman, Bush’s Pasture Park now boasts a delicious mix of open spaces, walking paths, gardens, and a Victorian greenhouse. Native garry oaks tower over the main axis of the park, while a spectacular well-laden collection of unusual flowering shrubs and trees add color from late winter to midsummer in the area surrounding the Bush House Museum and rose gardens. Learn More

Salem's "Littlest Redwood Park in the World."
This is a traveling salesman story you can tell in mixed company. The year was 1872, and a traveling salesman was passing through a rural community way out West. The community was Salem. The salesman was peddling Sequoia gigantea, Redwoods. Judge William Waldo bought one and planted it on his property, which happened to be outside the city limits. The tree and the town grew, and so did William Waldo's prominence in the city's affairs. When the time came for Waldo's property to be platted and taken into the city, the judge's influence was great enough so he could successfully insist that the tree be preserved before he vacated his land... Learn More

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