Ornithogalum – Ornithogalum dubium

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Ornithogalum – Ornithogalum dubium

Common Name: Ornithogalum

Botanical Name: Ornithogalum dubium, or-ni-THOG-a-lum DOO-bee-um

Decorative Life: Up to 2 weeks in water alone.

Flower Color: , , , , ,


Family Roots:
  • Member of the Liliaceae (lily family).
  • Native to South Africa (Cape Province).
  • Common relatives onion, alstroemeria, hyacinth, tulip and star of Bethlehem.
  • Has 25 or more star-like flowers, 1 inch across, in dome-shaped clusters at stem ends.
  • Stems (scape) leafless, 8-12 inches long.
  • Plant is a herbaceous perennial from a bulb, classed as a monocotyledon, leaves mostly parallel veined.
  • Mild flower fragrance.
  • From the Greek “ornis” (a bird) and “gala” (milk), probably alluding to the egg-like color of the flowers of some species.
  • The specific epithet name dubium means doubtful or dubious. Maybe suggesting that should not be named in the same genus as star-of-Bethlehem because flowers are not really egg-white!
  • With over 3000 species, the lily family includes many medicinal and food species in addition to ornamental species.