Here's Why You May Not Want To Grow Ornithogalum



Ornithogalum is a bulb with several distinct reputations.

In one corner are the bulb growers who tell us that the plant name comes from the Latin ornis meaning bird and gala meaning white referring to the white elegance of the flower. Practical gardeners look at another meaning for bird-white and the prolific, weedy, spreading nature of this white-flowering bulb and think of pigeons rather than doves. And the "white" has nothing to do with feathers...

Comes with a Warning


I've grown this plant and watched it spread quite quickly. It is a delightful blooming plant but control will be necessary in a good garden or it will soon wind up in all manner of places. Do dig up volunteer clumps ruthlessly.

Having said that, this bulb is literally trouble-free, attractive, hardy and will colonize and naturalize anywhere you'll let it. Excellent for a rough area.

Basic Growing Info


Flower colour: white inside, greenish outside
Flowering period: March-April
Planting depth to base of bulb: 3-4 inches
Spacing between bulbs: 3 inches
Light requirements: full sun to partial shade

Popular Varieties


Ornithogalum nutans

Flower colour: white inside, greenish outside
Flowering period: March-April
Average plant height: 10-15inches
Planting depth to base of bulb: 3-4 inches
Spacing between bulbs: 3 inches
Light requirements: full sun to partial shade

Ornithogalum

Ornithogalum nutans

Ornithogalum umbellatum

Known as the Star of Bethlehem this white flowering bulb loves a part shade position and is slightly taller than the more common O. nutans . Note that if there isn't enough sunshine on a cloudy day, the flowers will simply stay closed. This isn't a disease, it's simply the way the plant works.

Flower colour: white inside, greenish outside
Flowering period: April-May
Average plant height: 6-7 inches
Planting depth to base of bulb: 3-4 inches
Spacing between bulbs: 3-4 inches
Light requirements: partial shade



Ornithogalum

Ornithogalum

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