Ornithogalum Caudatum

Interesting Facts About the Ornithogalum Caudatum

The ornithogalum caudatum is also called 'false sea onion' due to the fact that it looks a little like a curled up spring onion. The juice gained from this plant is used in traditional medicine just like Aloe Vera.


The ornithogalum caudatum grows similar to a normal spring onion and grows through the soil. However, unlike the onion that we use in the kitchen, this type blooms and has white little flowers along the stem.

The great thing about the ornithogalum caudatum is that it is just as easy to plant as normal onions. You can plant it in your garden, but it grows equally well in pots kept indoors. The preferred temperatures are low and the flowers bloom almost all year round. Over time, the bulbs (roots) form new onions which you can cut away, use in a different location or leave as they are. The ornithogalum caudatum is native in South Africa and has been used just like we would use fresh Aloe Vera, meaning that it can be squeezed and rubbed on sun burns or other types of burns to speed up the healing process. It is also known to be effective after being bitten by an insect and for some types of rash. In older times, it was also used as a vegetable both raw and cooked.

Here is a quick guide on how to plant your own ornithogalum caudatum. Remember that is makes no difference whether you plant it in the garden or in a pot.


The soil you choose should be dry and the temperatures should be low - it is difficult to grow ornithogalum caudatum in temperatures above 53°F. The ideal climate will be mild all year round, with an average temperature of 46°F. It is a great plant to start off with if you have recently discovered gardening because all mistakes you could possibly make (not watering, no light, and carelessness) are forgiven most of the time. This plant can survive a lot of maltreatment, so it is a great way to experiment and practice for more fussy flowers. The leaves can grow up to two feet and can produce a spring-like scent.


The onion grows fast and looks beautiful on its own, but it can be used for medical purposes at home.

When you use ornithogalum caudatum as healing aid, you must be aware that the juice can be poisonous. It all comes down to the dosage and how often it is applied. Thus, you should not eat it and before you try out health recipes you should consult your doctor or somebody experienced in this field. Nevertheless, even if you get the poison into your system, it is nothing to worry about, especially not in small amounts.


In modern medicine, it is sometimes used in balms, creams and tinctures for the relief of burns, bites or rash. There are also oral types of medication that contain ornithogalum caudatum which improve the performance of the heart, lower high blood pressure and support the kidney function. To make medication or herbal remedies, people use the root, stem, flowers and juice that lies within the stem. There are also old house remedies by which the leaves are crushed until they produce a discharge, and the leaf is then placed on the wound. Some people used to cook the leaves or bulb to produce a type of syrup that was effective to fight colds. In fact, some older generations have used the ornithogalum caudatum to make a natural cough syrup. These effects and healing power were discovered in Ancient Egypt around 500 B.C.!