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Zone
Zones 5-9, 14-25, 27
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular Water
Moderate
Toxicity
All parts of plant, especially bulbs, are poisonous if ingested

Ornithogalum thyrsoides

Chincherinchee
Liliaceae
Bulbs and bulblike plants, Perennials

ORNITHOGALUM

Clusters of typically star-shaped flowers appear on these small, grassy plants in the spring; but O. dubium may start blooming in late winter. Leaves vary from narrow to broad and tend to droop. In mild-winter areas, ornithogalums can fill many different roles. Set them in open woodlands, wild gardens, or rock gardens, where many kinds will naturalize; plant them in containers or mass them in borders.

Where cold winters prevent growing ornithogalums outdoors, plant the bulbs in pots and force them to early flowering indoors or in a greenhouse. Plant bulbs in early fall in well-drained soil amended with plenty of organic matter, setting them 3 in. deep and 3–4 in. apart. Provide regular moisture during growth and bloom. In areas with summer rainfall, grow them in pots to keep them dry. Dig and divide plantings of all species only when plant vigor and bloom quality decline.

Ornithogalum thyrsoides

From Namaqualand, South Africa. Leaves grow to 6–12 in. long and 2 in. wide, sometimes dry at flowering. Bloom stalks rise 8–32 in. above the ground, producing masses of long-lasting white flowers from mid- to late spring.

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