A genus that presents us with variety, Ornithogalum are a group of perennial bulbs, come with very attractive flowers, and some with common names that are more easily recognised.
Grown in the garden border, and also grown for cut flowers each species has its own attraction.
Ornithogalum species include Ornithogalum dubium and Ornithogalum arabicum. These are two of this this group of bulbs that are fairly easy to grow.
The two more popular species are :
- Ornithogalum saundersiae which is commonly known as the Giant Chincherinchee.
- Ornithogalum thyrsoides is another popular species. Best known for the cultivars such as ‘Chesapeke Snowflake’ and ‘Chesapeke Starlight’ being very popular. Most species will self seed and should be planted away from forested areas.
One solution to self seeding is to deadhead the plants after flower to prevent seeding.
These bulbs will grow equally as well in containers and pots as in the garden border.
Ornithogalum are a handy plant, with taller varieties such as Ornithogalum saundersiae or the giant Chincherinchee are great for for the back of the border. With tall flower spikes of black spotted cream to white flowers. A well mulched soil with lots of humus and a sunny position.
- Choose a position in full sun with a well drained soil.
- Dig in some well rotted compost and a little aged cow manure. Some mushroom compost is also beneficial for poorer soils.
- Plant Ornithogalum bulbs at around 7cm (3 inches) deep.
- Water in well with a liquid seaweed fertiliser.
- Wait until the foliage dies back after flowering before removing it.
- Divide established clumps every 4 – 5 years to prevent overcrowding. The best time to divide is when the bulbs are in dormancy.
You can also grow these bulbs in containers if desired. Use the same planting method as above.
Bulbs are available for sale from the following nurseries
365 Lighthouse Rd Wynyard. TAS 7325
PH 03 6442 2012
email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
470 Monbulk-Silvan Road Monbulk VIC 3793
"Guaranteed mail order flowering bulbs, perennials, roses, trees, landscaping plants, garden accessories and community fundraising Austra lia-wide."