Ornithogalum thyrsoides

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Ornithogalum thyrsoides
Ornithogalum thyrsoides00.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Scilloideae
Tribe: Ornithogaleae
Genus: Ornithogalum
O. thyrsoides
Binomial name
Ornithogalum thyrsoides

Ornithogalum thyrsoides[2] is a bulbous plant species that is endemic to the Cape Province in South Africa. It is also known by the common names of chinkerinchee or chincherinchee, star-of-Bethlehem or wonder-flower. [3] It produces long-lasting flowers prized as cut flowers.[4]

It is perennial, attaining 20 to 50 cm in height, becoming dormant during winter. It produces some half-a-dozen fleshy leaves which die after flowering - the leaves being some 15 to 30 cm in length and 0.5 to 1.5 cm in width, lanceolate, smooth and soft-textured. The flowers are in a compact raceme of some 30-50 or in a loose corymb of 5-20 flowers. The flowers are bowl-shaped with green bracts of approximate pedicel length. Flowers are white to creamy-white, with brown or green centres fading with age. They are seen from October to February, and are phototropic. The spindle-shaped capsular fruit holds black, shiny seeds of diverse shapes.

O. thyrsoides has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.[5][6]


  1. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  2. ^ Thyrsoides: with a flowering spike like a Bacchic thyrsus.
  3. ^ "Ornithogalum thyrsoides". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved May 6, 2008.
  4. ^ http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantnop/ornithogthyr.htm
  5. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Ornithogalum thyrsoides". Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  6. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 64. Retrieved 14 April 2018.