Can anyone please tell me what kind of plant this is? It has long and thin leaves and grows from a bulb. It looks like it's in the resting phase.

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  • Good question; if could include overall height, diameter of the bulb, and size of container, could also be helpful. We encourage you to browse through the Help center, to learn more about how the site works! Thank you! Welcome to the site!
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    Aug 27, 2020 at 15:28

4 Answers 4


Given the size of the bulb, the position of the bulb in the pot (even with/above the soil level), the fact that two flowering stems came from the same bulb, and time of year (I'm assuming that the plant is in the Northern Hemisphere), I'd say that's an amaryllis (a cultivar in either the Hippeastrum or Amaryllis genera). If I were a betting man, I'd bet on it being a Hippeastrum. The bulb position and arrangement of the leaves rules out clivia, and the fact that it has leaves after flowering tends to rule out any plant in the Lycoris genus.

  • Thank you very much, that's very helpful! Yes, it is in the Northern Hemisphere.
    – Anastasiia
    Aug 31, 2020 at 8:31

It looks like a pregnant onion or Ornithogalum caudatum.



This looks like my pregnant onion colony. The bulblet with the leaf hanging over the front lip of the pot is my clue.

I acquired my original 35 years ago and it grew to the size of a softball on my California patio, before feezing in an unexpected frost. It's progeny survived since they were protected by the bulk of the base that produced them. With the added sunlight, the leaves and outer skin had toughened, grew wider, and became a darker shade of green.

Your bulbs appear to have had a long drought. These are very hardy and are semi-succulent. If watered more frequently, they would fill out and push away from each other. You don't have to separate them, but you may in order to produce rounder bulbs. They are quite attractive and more stable in clusters, so I suggest replanting those two only an inch or so at their outermost points. Another 1-2 cm of soil will help support them at this size.

The small bulblet with the narrow leaf hanging across the lip of your pot appears to have come from between dried layers of the base. Pull it free and tuck the bulb into the soil. You may cover it completely if you want, but it isn't necessary. Bulbs left beneath the soil or in the dried but damp dead skins will take root. So don't be afraid to water skins at the base when you water the plant.

You can peel back dried layers to expose attractive green, living layers. The shiny green skin will be the same shade of apple green appears in the white and green star-shaped flowers. Once a plant grows a blossom stalk and begins to bloom, the stalk can continue to grow in a spiral fashion at the tip and produce new blossoms for months! The larger the base, the longer the blossom time!

Leaves will die back to the point at which they touch the soil. In a hanging pot or on a shelf they will hang down quite a bit. If left to grow too long, they will snap at the arching point.

On a side note, they are not toxic. I understand that at one time in Germany they were boiled to produce cough drops. I personally don't know about that, but I do know that when my cat ate the leaves off of mine, the plant was hardy enough to continue growing and produce new leaves from the base.

35 years is a long time to have a plant and it's progeny. I hope you enjoy your plants as much as I have mine!

  • All of my sources say that Ornithogalums have a single stem per bulb - can you point me to anything that says differently? Thanks.
    – Jurp
    Mar 4 at 15:36

Amaryllis or hippeastrum ?, after reading Wikipedia I don't know any more. The difference may be when it bloomed , Amaryllis blooms in winter in northern hemisphere ; IF it has had months ( 4 +) of dry dormancy. I think I have very large hippeastrum in the ground that bloom May/June (US zone 8) . Natural dormancy works fine. The blooms are similar to amaryllis. I can promise you,an amaryllis left in the ground here is 90% unlikely to re -bloom. The first of August I put my amaryllis pots in a green house- sun but NO water . I expect blooms in the winter. My guess , you have a modest size amaryllis that might big enough to bloom if you give it no water . It will slowly go dormant and ,if lucky, a green bud will show next winter.

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