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Ornithogalum Saundersiae - Ivory Coast Lily. This is the giant member of the Ornithogalum family and is little known in Australia. The bulbs are endemic to the Drakensberg Mountains in Africa, but now many are grown commercially as cut flowers in Holland, Israel and Tasmania.
The multi flowered clusters are striking because each white petaled flower has a dark green centre. The flower stems are tall and strong, up to 1.15cm in height which makes it a versatile flower for use in floral art. Like Ornithogalum thyrsoides (chincherinchees) the flowers last well, the buds slowly opening as the weeks go by.
Is it an Arab's Eye?
Ornithogalum saundersiae is a flower which has many names. When we consulted The Royal Horticultural A-Z the common name was listed as the Ivory Coast Lily but it was also explained that the name was geographically incorrect because the bulb is endemic to the east coast of Africa not the west.
Some people look at the flower and then pronounce it is an Arab's Eye but an Arab's Eye has shorter flower stems and it's botanical name is Ornithogalum arabicum.
For a number of years at Highcroft we called them Togi's, short and very easy to remember. Whatever the name, everyone agrees that it is a superb, longlasting cut flower that has a great future.
The flowers are available from January - late April.
The standard flower box holds approximately 30 bunches. There are 5 stems per bunch and the stems are 85-115cm long.
The bulbs are dug May-July.
10 bulbs for $22 [including GST in Australia]
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