Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Ornithogalum dubium Houtt.

Half-hardy bulbous perennial with up to 8 narrow leaves, to 10cm long, with flowering stems to 30cm bearing racemes of 20 or more orange, red, yellow or, rarely white flowers, often tinged green or brown at the base within, opening in succession for a considerable time in the winter and spring.  [RHSD, Hortus, CECB].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Hortus, CECB].

‘We have bestowed on this plant the name of aureum, from the colour of its blossoms, which are usually of a bright orange or gold colour; in some specimens we have observed them of a paler hue, and consequently less beautiful.  This highly ornamental species is a modern introduction, having been received by Messrs. Lee and Kennedy, a few years since from the Cape.’  [BM t.190/1792]. 

‘This elegant flowering bulbous-rooted plant is a native of the Cape of Good Hope.  It usually blooms in the spring with us.  The stem is nearly a foot in height, and the flowers continue long in beauty; after which the whole decays, and the bulb often remains dormant for two seasons, when it shoots up with renewed vigour.’  [LBC no.1183/1827]. 

BR f.305/1818, ABR pl.505/c.1808, MB p.175/1845 and FS pl.IV 2e Liv./1846.

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1845, 1850 and 1857 catalogues [B.359/1845].


Published Jan 09, 2010 - 03:28 PM | Last updated Jan 09, 2010 - 05:05 PM

Figured are stem and leaves in outline and gold-orange salverform flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.190, 1792.

Ornithogalum dubium Houtt. | BM t.190/1792 | BHL

Family Hyacinthaceae
Region of origin

South Africa

  • Ornithogalum aureum Curt.
  • Ornithogalum flavescens Jacq.
  • Ornithogalum flavissimum Jacq.
  • Ornithogalum thyrsoides Jacq. var. aureum
  • Ornithogalum thyrsoides Jacq. var. flavescens
Common Name

Golden star of Bethlehem

Name in the Camden Park Record

Ornithogalum aureum 

Confidence level high