The Q&A Archives: Houseplant Identification

Question: I was given this "onion plant" by a friend. It is not an onion though. It is a houseplant. It sits on top of the soil, and I just water it to keep moist. It like lots of sunshine. But, the few long grassy leaves grow, and grow, then flower. They have a light yellowish little flowers on the ends. The bulb then has lots of baby bulbs, thens dies. This leaves me with all these wonderful babies from the "momma" I loved and nurtured for years. I would really love to know what kind of plant I have. If you have an answer or a photo of what you might think it is, please let me know. I have never seen another one anywhere like it and cannot find it any books. Please help. Thanks.

Answer: Sounds like your have Ornithogalum caudatum, also known as Pregnant Onion. It's a native of South Africa and the fleshy leaves can grow up to 5 feet long. It sends out long stalks that produce tiny green and white flowers that open in succession from bottom to top. Pregnant Onion is an interesting and easy to grow plant. It needs bright light, moderate water and normal room temperature. You can plant the baby bulbs, just at the surface of the soil, and they will produce leaves and flowers, just like the parent plant.

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