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Products > Ornithogalum fimbrimarginatum
Ornithogalum fimbrimarginatum - Fringed Chincherinchee
Image of Ornithogalum fimbrimarginatum
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Bulb/Tuber/Rhizome etc.
Family: Hyacinthaceae (~Amaryllidaceae)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Fragrant Flowers: Yes
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: <1 foot
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25° F
Ornithogalum fimbrimarginatum (Fringed Leaf Star Of Bethlehem) - A deciduous bulb that grows 8 inches tall with a flat rosette of about five bright green leaves with fine white hairlike leaf margins that radiate outward and arch over slightly. In late spring and early summer, often as the leaves are beginning to dry back, appear the beautiful white six petaled lightly scented flowers with yellow centers held on a unbranched 18 inch tall vertical spike.

Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil and irrigate if having a dry spring but otherwise requires little irrigation. It is hardy down to mid to low 20°Fs. This attractive flowering bulb has been compared to looking like a Paperwhite Narcissus but blooming later. It is a very nice plant in the garden or as a potted specimen with attractive foliage and long lasting flowers.

Ornithogalum fimbrimarginatum ranges naturally from the drier Western Cape region east into the moister Eastern Cape. In Anna Amelia Obermeyer's monograph of Ornithogalum (in Bothalia Volume 12 No. 3 1978) she noted that she thought the species possibly a hybrid between O. dubium and O. conicum as it possesses characters of both species. 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 describes the white-fringed leaf margins. Our plants were grown from seed from the Huntington Botanical Gardens Plants (HBG 118287) that originated from a collection made by Steven Hammer & Chris Barnhill at Piketberg in the Western Cape. Plants from this collection grown from seed were distributed by International Succulent Introductions (ISI) program in 2013 as ISI 2013-27. We thank Jim Foster for giving us the collected seed from his plants that he received from the ISI. 

This information about Ornithogalum fimbrimarginatum displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.