SCIENTIFIC NAME: Ornithogalum
COMMON NAME(S): Chincherinchee, Star of Bethlehem
FAMILY: LILIACEAE - Lily family
ORIGIN: Europe, Meditteranean area and South Africa, about 80 spp.
HABITAT: Cultivated landscapes, lawns, disturbed areas
HEIGHT: Generally under 3'
CHARACTERISTICS: Underground bulb
LEAVES: Linear- or lance-shaped, rarely broad, sometimes hairy at margins, occasionally with a silver-white stripe running down the middle
FLOWERS: Showy, round, white, red, orange or yellow borne 2 to many on a leafless spike
FLOWERING SEASON: Spring, summer
ALLERGENIC PRINCIPLES: Calcium oxalate
ALLERGENIC PROPERTIES: Dermatological
COMMENTS: Handling certain species (e.g. O. caudatum Ait.) can cause intense irritation. Two European species, Star of Bethlehem (O. umbellatum L.) and O. nutans L. are naturalized in the Southeast.