Sun Star Photos

Sun Stars are a perennial bulb a hybrid of a common cut flower called Ornithogalum.

"combining the dense floral display and large flowers of Ornithogalum thyrsoides, compact habit of O. multifolium, and intense orange color and short stature of O. dubium." -U.S. National Arboretum

Care and Feeding:

First of all, they are deciduous bulbs, they will die back and come up again next year. So dont feel bad that you killed it, you didn't! (Unless of course you already threw it in the trash. In that case, well... there's not much we can do for it now.)

The timing depends upon your climate, but here in Southern California they bloom in the late winter rain (if we have any) and die back in the summer heat. Further north you will need to dig them up in the winter wherever there is a risk of frost. You can start them inside in the winter and transplant them to the garden in the spring.

In the garden they are supposed to like partial to full sun.

The tag on mine says...

Keep potting mix uniformly moist, good drainage. Remove dead flower spikes at base.

USDA ZOnes 9 and 10, not tolerant of frost. Transplant to garden in sandy loam after spring bloom. Protect from frost.

When leaves die back gradually withhold water and allow plant to dry out. Avoid summer watering, plants will grow with winter rain. (or, I guess, winter waterings inside)

Fertilizer: Use a blended household fertilizer at 1/2 reccomended rate. Apply in early spring once plant shows new growth."

  • If the plant is yellow/brown and dry, it is probably fading for the season. You can trim off the dry parts, and start to withhold water. But let the green parts give the bulb food until they can't anymore.
  • If the plant is yellow and MUSHY, you're probably giving it too much water.
  • If you see small black spots on the undersides of leaves they are probably mites and wiping the leaves with some diluted mild dish soap on a paper towel will take care of them.
See David's note below on storage of bulbs for the winter... "As to storage, the best would be 77-83F with the lowest humidity possible." That's a lot warmer than I would have expected, but it's always good to listen to the experts, and no one would be more of an expert than the breeders themselves!

Thanks David!!

Sun Star Water Drops
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Sun Star Water Drops

Well it's officially fall. Can't believe it, but it's time to start to look for some good bulbs for the garden. This is one of my favorites, the Sun Star. It is a fairly new hybrid and I have not been able to find it as a bulb. But I'm going to keep looking!

Sun Star Bloom
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Sun Star Bloom

Well it's that time of year the Sun Stars are in bloom! This is a beautiful Orange hybrid related to a Star-of-Bethlehem. This particular flower was my first one. It took a rest last year, but it is back strong.

If you landed here looking for care and feeding of your new plant take a look at the Sun Star page. And my earlier shot from the first time this one bloomed. Most importantly, it's a perennial bulb, so No!... you did not kill it! It dies back every year down to the bulb. And pretty fast after it's done blooming! If you're looking for one, they are available as live plants now. Or you can get bulbs in the fall. I've had a few requests for sources of bulbs so I'll try to get some links online soon.

Kalanchoe & Star
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Kalanchoe & Star

I was tinkering with using the Kalanchoe as a nice backdrop to get some shots of the green tipped Sun Star blossoms. In the end I was happiest with the shots that had them both in the mix. I really like the Kalanchoe in this shot because one of the flowers in the upper right has five petals. There are hundreds of blossoms and only two of them have five petals. The rest all have four.

Green Sun Star
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Green Sun Star

Recently I got a new Ornithogalum (Snake flower [Ornithogalum dubium]) at a Cactus and Succulent show. It is a close relative of the Sun Star. Actually, it is the source of the orange color and size of the Sun Star.

There are three bulbs in the pot, as one of the inflorescences started to open I noticed it is a bit different. Supposedly there are over 80 Ornithogalums out there. (and some of them apparently, are considered weeds.) I couldn't figure out which one this is, but I really like it. (Weed or not!)

The orange in the background is the Snake flower.

Green Tipped Star
Monday, May 21, 2007
Green Tipped Star

I mentioned this flower on the discussion at the bottom of the Sun Star keyword page. About a week ago we found it at a local grocery store. It is a little different than the others I've seen. Every other petal has a green tip. There are three petals that are on the outside of the bud and three on the inside. The outside ones have the green tips. It makes for a VERY interesting variant.

Glowing Sun Star
Monday, May 14, 2007
Glowing Sun Star

I have been playing with some creative lighting on my flowers lately. That's the reason that the photo of the day has been the flower of the day lately. :-D (Well, that and the fact that it's spring and there are some amazing plants out there that all seem to follow me home.) I\'m pretty happy with the results though, both in the back yard and my photos!

If you ended up here because you have one of these beauties and you are looking for care instructions, take a look at the main Sun Star page. There are more tips and discussion on the March 25, 2006 Sun Star too. If you find any of it helpful, or have questions that have not been answered there, drop us a note!

Sun Star Blossom
Saturday, April 29, 2006
Sun Star Blossom

My Sun Star just opened up a third stalk of flowers. I've only had it for a few weeks but it has been blooming like crazy. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, as I was playing with my lens reversed for a good closeup, I noticed it is being attacked by small bugs. So it is taking a dish-soap bath in the sink now.

Sun Star
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Sun Star

This is one of the other flowers that followed us home from the store yesterday.

These guys caught my eye as we were going into the store. I love taking pictures of flowers so something vibrant and different like this is almost certainly going to come home with me! Does not seem to be a lot of information online about it though.

You can find Sun Star care instructions here, and in the comments below. I'm glad to help your plants, but 95% of the questions posted to this page have already been answered..