Tjienkerientjee

Rina Greeff

Jansenville, South Africa

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Artist's Description

The flowers of a Chinkerinchee (Ornithogalum pruinosum) in our garden at Jansenville in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.
’n Tjienkerientjee of wit-dirkie se blomme wat nou ook oral in die distrik blom.

Ornithogalum belongs to the Hyacinthaceae that ranks among the 20 largest families in the Cape Flora. The genus contains about 120 species with a distribution in Africa, Europe and Western Asia. About 114 of the species occur in southern Africa and 38 of these in the Northern and Western Cape Provinces .

‘Ornithogalum is derived from the Greek words ’ornis’ meaning bird and ‘gala’ meaning milk, in reference to the white flowers. The Afrikaans name tjienkerientjee is the simulation of the chink sound made when fresh stalks are rubbed against one another and is based on the name given by Thunberg in 1772 as tinkerintees. Chincherinchee is the English translation of the Afrikaans name.’ (PlantZafrica) Another common name, Wonder Flower, is used because it lasts so long.

Ornithogalum thyrsoides will follow the sun, as sunflowers do. This bulb is one of our local wild flowers found from Namaqualand in North West to Caledon in the South East.
The common name Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum) is used for the European species.

Kamera: CanonEOS 500D Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro Lens

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