Botterblom Nature Reserve – Chincherinchee – 05

Ornithogalum thyrsoides 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. It produces long-lasting flowers prized as cut flowers. It is grown in a sunny or partially shaded sheltered spot. The plant becomes dormant shortly after flowering in spring and early summer. The dormant bulb must not be exposed to freezing temperatures.


It is perennial, attaining 29–50 cm (11–20 in) in height, becoming dormant during winter. It produces half-a-dozen fleshy leaves which die after flowering – the leaves being some 15–30 cm (5.9–11.8 in) in length and 0.5 to 1.5 cm in width, lanceolate, smooth and soft-textured. The flowers are in a compact raceme of 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 centers fading with age. They are seen from October to February, and are phototropic (turning towards the sun). The spindle-shaped capsular fruit holds black, shiny seeds of diverse shapes.

Chincherinchee, Ornithogalum thyrsoides, Botterblom Nature Reserve, Durbanville, South Africa

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PS.  I am busy saving for a few upcoming Landscape Photography Trips to Scotland, and Namibia, a few road trips in the USA, including Route 66, and a few local National Parks and Botanical gardens in South Africa. The most important trip is honoring my promise to Dad to return to Scotland and capture the beautiful landscapes and Puffins. Your help to make these trips a reality would be much appreciated in today’s economy.

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