Ornithogalum thyrsoides weedy?

steve22802(7a VA)March 16, 2009

I just bought a few Ornithogalum thyrsoides and planted them but now I've read in Taylor's Pocket Guide to Bulbs for Summer that they can become weedy. Does anyone know if this means that the bulbs multiply rapidly or is it that it self sows easily? Just want to know whether I need to make sure to deadhead vigilantly with this plant.

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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

I just bought a few Ornithogalum thyrsoides and planted them but now I've read in Taylor's Pocket Guide to Bulbs for Summer that they can become weedy.
Did it specifically say Ornithogalum thyrsoides?

I am aware of no other Ornithogalum being weedy and as horrid as the Ornithogalum Umbellatum....aka flower from hell.

I see Ornithogalum - thyrsoides 'Alaska' at Brent and Beckys's says it is only hardy to zone 8, so might planting in containers that you can bring in be an option?

My yearly spring battle with the Flower From Hell

Sue

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 7:04PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

I'm not sure deadheading will do the trick...

I grow two sorts of Ornithogalum in pots. The Chincherinthees form zillions of teeny bulblets at the base of the flower stalk. If I want to contain the numbers I need to remove them with care and dispose of them. I'd personally rate the spawn as much worse than any seeds.

(On the other hand - those my mother planted in her garden have all died out. They didn't like the conditions under the bark mulch and the watering from the neighbour's yard. She's z9b.)

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 8:55PM
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steve22802(7a VA)

>> Did it specifically say Ornithogalum thyrsoides?

Yes, the Taylor guide and the web site both specified Ornithogalum thyrsoides. The pictures are also clearly different than Ornithogalum Umbellatum. I planted 3 Ornithogalum magnum bulbs several years ago and they have grown ok but I actually wish they would multiply a little more rapidly. I was outside doing some spring clean up around them yesterday and I was pleased to discover several tiny bulbs right at the soil surface around the base of the stem. They looked like they probably grew from seed since they were so close to the surface.

I suspect that this plant would self-sow better if I wasn't such a obsessively fastidious gardener. ;( I believe that the seeds need cold stratification but also need to be on or very near the surface of the soil and usually I'm out mulching or deadheading and interfering with their ability to self-sow. I think they would really like to just fall onto the surface of nice fertile soil and then be left there through the whole winter so that they can germinate at their leisure the next spring.

Sue that O. umbellatum does sound awful, like wild onions! :( I'm going to stay away from that!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 11:03PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Steve, it may just be natural vegetative multiplication, not seeds. The bulblets I mentioned form in the leaf sheath and around the stem near the ground. (The old 'pregnant onion' does something similar only on a grander scale.)

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 5:40AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Sue that O. umbellatum does sound awful, like wild onions! :( I'm going to stay away from that!

It is much worse than the wild onions. The advantage (if you want to call it that) is that they, the onions, not only emerge in the spring, but will later emerge in the cool faller temps, affording me a second season of digging them out. Once the foliage of the star or Beth disappears in late May, my chance to dig and eradicate is gone for until late the following Feb.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 11:42AM
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