Scientific Name
Ornithogalum maculatum Jacq.
Higher Classification
Ornithogalum insigne F.M.Leight., Ornithogalum maculatum Jacq. var. speciosum (Baker) F.M.Leight., Ornithogalum maculatum Jacq. var. splendens (L.Bolus) F.M.Leight., Ornithogalum maculatum Thunb. (later homonym), not of Jacq. (1789), Ornithogalum magnificum Poelln., Ornithogalum rossouwii U.Müll.-Doblies & D.Müll.-Doblies, Ornithogalum speciosum Baker (later homonym), not of Salisb (1796), nor Rafin (1810), Ornithogalum splendens L.Bolus, Ornithogalum thunbergianum Baker, Ornithogalum thunbergianum Baker var. concolor Baker
Common Names
Chinkerinchee (e), Geeltjienkerientjee (a), Geeltjienkerintjie (a), Oranjetjienk (a), Rooi-dirkie (a), Slangblom (a), Snake Flower (e), Tjienkerientjee (a), Viooltjie (a)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
R.R. Klopper, J.E. Victor & L. von Staden
Widespread, common and not threatened.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Northern Cape, Western Cape
Central Namaqualand to Malmesbury and eastwards to Prince Albert.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Fynbos, Nama Karoo, Succulent Karoo
Sandstone, granite and shale rocky outcrops.
This is one of few Ornithogalum species not toxic to livestock, and heavy grazing by goats have been observed (Obermeyer 1978). The species is restricted to rocky outcrops and therefore not threatened by habitat loss as a result of ploughing for crop cultivation. It is very widespread and common and localized threats to some subpopulations are unlikely to cause its extinction.
Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Ornithogalum maculatum Jacq.Least Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)
Ornithogalum rossouwii U.& D.Müll.-DobliesLeast Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)

Goldblatt, P. and Manning, J.C. 2000. Cape Plants: A conspectus of the Cape Flora of South Africa. Strelitzia 9. National Botanical Institute, Cape Town.

Manning, J.C., Martínez-Azorín, M. and Crespo, M.B. 2007. A revision of Ornithogalum subgenus Aspasia section Aspasia, the chincherinchees (Hyacinthaceae). Bothalia 37(2):133-164.

Obermeyer, A.A. 1978. Ornithogalum: a revision of the southern African species. Bothalia 12(3):323-376.

Raimondo, D., von Staden, L., Foden, W., Victor, J.E., Helme, N.A., Turner, R.C., Kamundi, D.A. and Manyama, P.A. 2009. Red List of South African Plants. Strelitzia 25. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

Vlok, J. and Schutte-Vlok, A.L. 2010. Plants of the Klein Karoo. Umdaus Press, Hatfield.

Klopper, R.R., Victor, J.E. & von Staden, L. 2012. Ornithogalum maculatum Jacq. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2020.1. Accessed on 2022/05/20

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Distribution map

© J.H. Vlok/A.L. Schutte-Vlok

© J.H. Vlok/A.L. Schutte-Vlok

© M. Treurnicht

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