Family: Liliaceae
Popular name: Star-of-Bethlehem

Origin: South Africa

Flower colour: white

Flowering period: June – October

Average plant height: depends on the type

Planting depth to base of bulbs: 5 – 10 cm

Spacing between bulbs: 8 – 12 cm

Type of bulb: bulb

Light requirements: sunny and moist (PM sun)

Landscape uses: beds, sometimes used in borders and perennial gardens. All types are very suitable for cut flower production. They are long-lasting in the vase.


One of the common names of this flower is Chincherinchees. This is an African word that means sound. It probably refers to the noise-making properties of Ornithogalum seed pods when dried. Ornithogalum can be divided into two groups: those that are winter hardy and those that are not winter hardy. Those that are not winter hardy are the bulbs that are planted in spring. O. arabicum (height 32 inches/80 cm)/ O. saundersiae (height 40 inches/100 cm) and O. thyrsoides (height 14 inches/35 cm). O. arabicum and O. saundersiae have umbel-shaped, cream coloured inflorescence; O. thyrsoides has a pyramid-shaped cluster of flowers. Besides that O. arabicum has a black ovary.

Different varieties

There are about 150 different species. But the main species are: 

  • Ornithogalum arabicum 
  • Ornithogalum saundersiae 
  • Ornithogalum thyrsoides (Chincherinchees)