Sunday, June 8, 2014

Baby Making Onion

This is the pregnant onion or Ornithogalum longibracteatum,  an unusual plant and a real conversation starter. First of all, its not an onion, it just resembles one. It is in the same family, Liliaceae, though. This houseplant should never be eaten, it is poisonous. It may actually cause a rash on your skin from handling it, but I haven't had that problem. Make sure your pet doesn't chew on it, either. 
 It is so amazing how the little bulblets form on the "Mom's" side. You can peel back the skin and reveal the green underneath and the babies growing. These eventually start growing themselves, sending up little green spikes. At this point it is easy to share them with your friends and family. It is an indestructible houseplant and easy to grow. They'll thank you. 
Definitely looks like the skin on an onion.

Baby bump.
This bulb originates in South Africa.  It does flower, but it really isn't anything to write home about. Then again, I appreciate any flowers my plants produce, no matter how insignificant. It sends up a long shoot and the little white flowers with a green stripe are borne on the end.

 The leaves can grow very long. Mine are about 3' long.They twist and twirl and undulate as they hang down from the plant. I have had to trim the ends because they turn brown. Don't ask me why. I don't know why. It may be the water with chlorine and fluoride or low humidity, I'm just not sure. Besides this small glitch, the plant is easy and certainly not your "run of the mill" houseplant. This is a great plant for the beginner and collector alike.

Babies in the making.
New foliage coming up from a bulblet


  1. Interesting! I'm Rhonda on the House Plant Facebook page. I'm thinking of ordering from ebay but they send several babies the size of thumbnail. Should I plant all of them in one pot or should each baby have their own pot?

    1. Hi Rhonda! I personally would put each plant in a small pot of its own. That way you wouldn't have to disturb them later by separating them. Just my opinion. If you decide to put them all together, that would be fine, too. Good luck!

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