More than just a bouquet in a pot

Jim McCausland,  – November 29, 2005

When its winter white flowers fade, this Ornithogalum hybrid will feel right at home in the garden in the mild-winter West.

The recent introduction is now finding its way into florists, supermarkets, and garden centers. Its sturdy 1-foot-tall flowering stems rise from a well-behaved plant with strap-shaped green leaves.

To prolong the show, choose a plant with lots of buds but few open flowers, and display it in a cool, bright spot indoors. As blooms fade, plant it outdoors in a spot that gets morning sun and afternoon shade (in cold-winter climates, keep it in a pot and grow it as an indoor-outdoor plant). Give it well-drained soil and regular irrigation until summer. Then allow it to go dormant by cutting off water.

If you can’t find ‘Chesapeake Snowflake’ locally, order it from Red Envelope ($48; 877/733-3683).