July 16, 2006

Ornithogalum convallarioides

This small bulbous Ornithogalum species is native to Madagascar

Of all of the Ornithogalum species which I grow, this precious tiny specimen has been the most challenging. Mainly because after recieving hte bulb from England last autumn, slugs in the greenhouse devoured each leaf as it emerged. I had given up on it ever blooming, and set it far away on a shelf.

This spring, I noticed a leaf fragment surviving so I relocated the container on an upsidedown clay pot positioned in a pan of water, with the theory that slugs could not travel across the water to get to the apparently tasty foliage.

This still did not work since slugs had made a home within the soil, and emerged at night to dine.

Now, after carefully repotting, it had successfully grown its distinctive, and, yes, very Convallaria-like foliage (Convallaria = Lily of the Valley).

After a week away on a trip, it is nice to come home to surprises like this.

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