Flower Classic Gets a New Fire--and Double LifeBy
When consumers hear about a new Star-of- Bethlehem lily, they think of
white-flowered members of the species Ornithogalums. But now three new
lilies, Chesapeake Blaze, Sunburst and Sunset, are putting a special fire in
this floral family.
That's because these new types burst out in yellow, gold or fiery orange
bouquets. Their flower stems are not tall like star-of-Bethlehem, but short and
more suitable as a houseplant. Essentially, consumers get two kinds of plants
Most flower lovers know the trick of forcing bulbs to bloom indoors out of
season by refrigerating bulbs before planting. With the Chesapeake series of
Ornithogalums, a cold treatment is not necessary. Under cool conditions, these
bulbs can be evergreen and flower throughout the year.
Traditional star-of-Bethlehem lilies are even mentioned in the Bible. Their
tall stems of bright, star-shaped flowers grace many Christmas and Easter
bouquets. In addition to being used as cut flowers, these bulbs are planted in
southern climates as spring-flowering bulbs.
Agricultural Research Service
Griesbach of the
Nursery Plants Research Unit of the
U.S. National Arboretum
and Fred Meyer of New World Plants in Escondido, Calif., created the Chesapeake
series of Ornithogalums. The Arboretum is administered by ARS, the principal
research arm of the U.S. Department of
The new plants just became available from Bay City Flower Company in Half
Moon Bay, Calif. The company will be distributing them nationwide.
Scientific contact: Robert J. Griesbach, ARS Floral and Nursery
Plants Research Unit, U.S. National Arboretum, Beltsville, Md., phone (301)
504-6574, fax (301) 504-5096, email@example.com.