Southern African Ornithogalum Two

Ornithogalums from Southern Africa from P-Z are found on this wiki page.


Ornithogalum index | Southern African Ornithogalums from A-O


Ornithogalum pruinosum has 4 to 6 bluish green basal oblong to lanceolate leaves. The white flowers are borne in a dense flower head. It is found on rocky slopes in Namaqualand to the western Karoo. The first two photos by Bob Rutemoeller were taken in such a spot near Kamieskroon September 2006. Photos #3 and 4 were taken by Andrew Harvie northwest of Steinkopf. The final two photos were taken by Alan Horstmann.

Ornithogalum pruinosum, Kamieskroon, Bob RutemoellerOrnithogalum pruinosum, Kamieskroon, Bob RutemoellerOrnithogalum pruinosum, northwest of Steinkopf, Andrew HarvieOrnithogalum pruinosum, northwest of Steinkopf, Andrew HarvieOrnithogalum pruinosum, Alan HorstmannOrnithogalum pruinosum, Alan Horstmann

Ornithogalum pulchrum see Albuca pulchra


Ornithogalum regale (Hilliard & B.L.Burtt) J.C.Manning & Goldblatt previously and still sometimes seen under the name Galtonia regalis grows on wet cliffs up to 2800 meters in colonies in the Drakensberg and blooms January to February (Southern Hemisphere). In the San Francisco Bay Area, Nhu Nguyen grows each bulb in a 1 gallon container with 60% rich organic medium and 40% perlite (or pumice). The plants are given water often (they love water) and fertilized once a month during active growth and flowering. The plants are not self-fertile in cultivation. Photos 1-3 were taken by Cameron McMaster at Sentinel Peak in the Drakensberg. Photos 4-6 were taken by Nhu Nguyen in cultivation.

Ornithogalum regale, Sentinel Peak, Cameron McMasterOrnithogalum regale, Sentinel Peak, Cameron McMasterOrnithogalum regale, Sentinel Peak, Cameron McMasterOrnithogalum regale, Nhu NguyenOrnithogalum regale, Nhu NguyenOrnithogalum regale, Nhu Nguyen

Ornithogalum saundersiae Grows in summer and spends winter on basement floor dry. Native to South Africa Photo by Arnold Trachtenberg

Ornithogalum sandersiae, Arnold Trachtenberg

Ornithogalum secundum see Albuca secunda


Ornithogalum sp. is an unidentified species previously included in Neopatersonia photographed by Digby Boswell.

Ornithogalum sp., Digby Boswell

Ornithogalum sp. This unidentified species was seen at Naude's Nek where it was growing close to Moraea alticola. Photographs from Mary Sue Ittner and Bob Rutemoeller taken January 2010.

Ornithogalum sp., Naude's Nek, Mary Sue IttnerOrnithogalum sp. fruit, Naude's Nek, Mary Sue IttnerOrnithogalum sp., Naude's Nek, Bob Rutemoeller

An unidentified species grown by Pamela Slate. Alberto Castillo provided this description when he sent the bulbs to BX 250, August 2010 "a miniature Ornithogalum species, fine foliage growing in tufts, clumping, evergreen, but definitely a winter grower. Flowers are white, minute and produced in profusion in spring. It was originally distributed as seed in an early PBS BX. Has been a charming undemanding species in full sun and gritty soil. Frost free conditions."‚Äč

Ornithogalum sp., Pamela SlateOrnithogalum sp., Pamela SlateOrnithogalum sp., Pamela Slate

Ornithogalum suaveolens see Albuca suaveolens


Ornithogalum thyrsoides is found on sandy flats and lower slopes in marshes from Namaqualand to Pearly Beach. It is very variable in form. Flowers are white, often with a dark center. This species is very similar to Ornithogalum conicum which is found in some of the same areas. Ornithogalum conicum never has a dark center. O. thyrsoides has large bracts and inner filaments with broad membranous wings. The inner filaments on O. conicum are ovate or expanded below, but then the lower expansion is squared above and not curved inward over the ovary as it is in this species. The first series of pictures are clearly O. thyrsoides because of the darker center and where they were seen. The first two photographs were taken by Cameron McMaster near Napier in the Overberg and the next by Mary Sue Ittner near Darling in the Western Cape in September 2006 of an especially attractive form.

Ornithogalum thyrsoides, Cameron McMasterOrnithogalum thyrsoides, Cameron McMasterOrnithogalum thyrsoides, Mary Sue IttnerOrnithogalum thyrsoides, Mary Sue Ittner

I'm not so sure about the identification of the next two series of pictures, but think on the basis of the broad membranous wings that curve inward they could be O. thyrsoides. The first population was seen near Vanrhynsdorp September 2006 growing in abundance along the road. Photos by Bob Rutemoeller show the habitat, the plants, and the flowers with bracts and a close-up by Mary Sue Ittner shows the filaments.

Ornithogalum thyrsoides, Bob RutemoellerOrnithogalum thyrsoides, Bob RutemoellerOrnithogalum thyrsoides, Bob RutemoellerOrnithogalum thyrsoides, Mary Sue Ittner

This population was viewed in the Cederberg between Nieuwoudtville and Clanwilliam. Photographs by Mary Sue Ittner taken September 2006.

Ornithogalum thyrsoides, Mary Sue IttnerOrnithogalum thyrsoides, Mary Sue Ittner

These Ornithogalum bulbs were purchased unnamed at a garden center. They could be hybrids, but if so probably have this species in their parentage. Photos by Mary Sue Ittner with some flowers left unopened and then fully open. The final two pictures are close-ups of O. thyrsoides taken by Alan Horstmann.

Ornithogalum sp., Mary Sue IttnerOrnithogalum sp., Mary Sue IttnerOrnithogalum thyrsoides, Alan HorstmannOrnithogalum thyrsoides, Alan Horstmann

Ornithogalum viridiflorum (I.Verd.) J.C.Manning & Goldblatt previously and still sometimes known as Galtonia viridiflora grows on cliffs and steep rocky slopes in drier areas in the Drakensberg. Flowers are pale green. Nhu Nguyen grows each bulb in a 1 gallon container in a mix of 60% rich organic material and 40% perlite (or pumice) with plenty of water and fertilizers once a month. In the San Francisco Bay Area, this bulb will continue growing well into the cold season and will go dormant only for about 2 months before coming back out. The bulb does not multiply so it is best increased by growing from seeds. Plants are self fertile in cultivation. This plant survives and does fairly well in zone1 Canadian scale at Hay River NWT. Canada. It has been growing there for eights years without being lifted for the winters. The leaves of this species are described as more erect than Ornithogalum regale which has lax leaves and the flowers of that species has creamy white tepals instead of pale green. This differences seem a bit subtle at least in the populations we saw in the wild. The first four photos taken by Cameron McMaster at Balloch and Naude's Nek in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Photos five and six two were also taken at Naude's Nek by Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner. Photos seven and eight and eight were taken by Nhu Nguyen The last four photos [9 to 12] were taken by Darm Crook in cultivation at Hay River NWT. Canada; zone 1.

Ornithogalum viridiflorum, Balloch, Cameron McMasterOrnithogalum viridiflorum, Naude's Nek, Cameron McMasterOrnithogalum viridiflorum, Naude's Nek, Cameron McMasterOrnithogalum viridiflorum, Naude's Nek, Cameron McMasterOrnithogalum viridiflorum, Naude's Nek, Bob RutemoellerOrnithogalum viridiflorum, Naude's Nek, Mary Sue Ittner

Photos 1-2 were taken by Nhu Nguyen in cultivation and photos 3-6 were taken by Darm Crook in cultivation zone 1 Canadian scale.

Ornithogalum viridiflorum, Nhu NguyenOrnithogalum viridiflorum, Nhu NguyenOrnithogalum viridiflorum, Darm CrookOrnithogalum viridiflorum, Darm CrookOrnithogalum viridiflorum, Darm CrookOrnithogalum viridiflorum, Darm Crook

Ornithogalum xanthochlorum is a large plant with 10 to 12 somewhat succulent basal leaves and many greenish flowers borne in a dense flower head. It is found on sandy flats in Namaqualand and also in the Calvinia area. Photographs taken in Namaqualand September 2006 by Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner. Photo 3 taken September 2011 by Cameron McMaster, Knersvlakte, Namaqualand. The last photo was taken by Andrew Harvie.

Ornithogalum xanthochlorum, Bob RutemoellerOrnithogalum xanthochlorum, Mary Sue IttnerOrnithogalum xanthochlorum, Knersvlakte, Cameron McMasterOrnithogalum xanthochlorum, Andrew Harvie

Related Genera can be found on the following wiki pages:

Albuca - Dipcadi - Galtonia - Neopatersonia - Ornithogalum index - Pseudogaltonia - Southern African Ornithogalum A-O


Return to the PBS wiki Photographs And Information page
Page last modified on June 01, 2015, at 05:22 PM