Ornithogalum candicans

Common Name: giant summer hyacinth 
Type: Bulb
Family: Asparagaceae
Native Range: Southern Africa
Zone: 6 to 10
Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: August to September
Bloom Description: Creamy white
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Tolerate: Black Walnut


Best grown in consistently moist, organically rich, well-drained soils in full sun to light shade. Plant bulbs 5-6” deep and 6-12” apart in spring. The St. Louis area is at the northern edge of this plant’s growing range, and plants are best sited therein in sheltered locations and provided winter protection with a deep mulch. To ensure winter survival, bulbs can be lifted, dried and stored for winter.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Ornithogalum candicans, commonly called summer hyacinth, is native to South Africa and Madagascar. It is a bulbous perennial that forms a clump of strap-shaped leaves (2-3’ long). Fragrant, creamy white, funnel-shaped flowers somewhat reminiscent of gladiolus appear in spikes atop erect flowering stems growing 2-4’ tall. Flowers are often tinged with green. Blooms late summer. Synonymous with and formerly sold as Hyacinthus candicans and Galtonia candicans.

Genus name comes from the Greek words ornis meaning a bird and gala meaning milk for the white flowers.

Specific epithet means shining or woolly-white.


Slugs and snails.


Beds, borders. Good cut flower.