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Products > Ornithogalum sandersiae
 
Ornithogalum sandersiae - Giant Chincherinchee
   
Image of Ornithogalum sandersiae
 
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Bulb/Tuber/Rhizome etc.
Family: Hyacinthaceae (~Amaryllidaceae)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Summer
Fragrant Flowers: Yes
Height: 3-5 feet
Width: <1 foot
Exposure: Full Sun
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 10-15 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Ornithogalum sandersiae (Giant Chincherinchee) - An easy to grow perennial winter dormant bulbous plant with erect rosettes of dark shiny dark green blunt tipped lanceolate leaves that rise up in spring to around 2 feet tall and in summer, generally from June to August, produce spike to 3 to 5 feet tall bearing flat toped conical inflorescences of many tightly held white flowers with 1/2 inch long petals surrounding the dark green near black ovary in the center of each flower. Plant in full (best) to part sun in a decently well drained soil and water regularly to occasionally spring through when flowers fade in later summer. Since foliage is down in winter it can handle fairly sever frost but is best lifted and stored in colder climates that USDA Zone 8. If soil does not drain adequately the bulbs can rot during wet winter months. The bulbs of Ornithogalum sandersiae multiply rapidly in the garden to form dense stands where it is an attractive garden or container plant with showy long-lasting flowers, which are beautiful and long lasting in flower arrangements. Care however should be exercised to not allow animals or children to chew or eat this plant. Like many other plants in the hyacinth family, this species is poisonous to mammals. Ornithogalum sandersiae is native to rocky outcrops in Mpumalanga, Swaziland and the KwaZulu-Natal mountains of South Africa. The name for the genus comes from the Greek words 'ornis' or 'ornithos' meaning "bird" and 'galum' meaning "milk" with one thought about this meaning being a Greek proverb about the rarity of bird's milk or a similar Roman phrase that meant something being wonderful. Another less popular thought is that the white flowers of some species might resemble bird droppings. The specific epithet honors the well-known British-born South African botanical illustrator and plant collector Katharine Saunders (1824-1901) who first sent bulbs of this species to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in 1887. The common name chincherinchee, that several South African species share, is in reference to the sound made by the dried foliage and flower stalks in the wind. Our plants grown from seed provided to us by local Santa Barbara plantsman Jim Foster.  Information displayed on this page about  Ornithogalum sandersiae is based on the research conducted about it in our library and from reliable online resources. We also note those observations we have made of this plant as it grows in the nursery's garden and in other gardens, as well how crops have performed in our nursery field. We will incorporate comments we receive from others, and welcome to hear from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if they share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.
 
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