Star Of Bethlehem Flower

All About The Star of Bethlehem Flower

The Star of Bethlehem flower is the common name for a variety of plants from the lily family. This bulbous lily like plant has an erect grass type rosette of leaves that grow in clumps and are characteristic by a white stripe through each leaf. In the spring a lovely delicate cluster of white flowers appears to grace the foot tall plant. There are three classifications to this perennial, all of which are from the genus Ornithogalum.

 

 

 

One of the species comes from the UK, one from the Mediterranean and one is a bit different from the other two-a drooping loose hanging version. Though it is native to the Middle East it grows very well in many parts of the US. Too well, according to some people whose garden, yard and beyond has been taken over by this prolific plant.

The Star of Bethlehem flower develops from the center of the leaf cluster-usually one or more stalks of the white flowers with a floral scent that is very pleasant. Its blooming period takes place in the late spring, unlike other early blooming bulbs, lasting just a short few weeks. The blooms open for the morning sun and are closed again by noon.

This little beauty likes the full sun but does well in light shade, moist but not wet conditions, and a fairly fertile soil. The foliage dies back by mid-summer and over all is moderately easy to grow. The Star of Bethlehem flower rarely has any problems with pests or diseases.

The Star of Bethlehem flower needs to be watered regularly, but does not do well if over-watered. Move if puddling occurs. Bees are most likely the main pollinators of this flower and care should be taken as both the bulbs and foliage contain a toxic alkaloid that can poison pets and livestock alike. When eaten it can produce symptoms of bloating, depression and salivation. It can even cause death.

This flower is easily propagated by dividing the bulbs but each flower is replaced by a seed pod of several seeds. Space the new plants about 5 to 6 inches apart. Each flower is replaced by a 3-celled seed capsule containing several black seeds.

Watch for the rapid and extremely invasive spread of the Star of Bethlehem flower. It can easily overtake its ‘spot’ and move on if the homeowner is not paying attention. Digging up the bulbs is about the only way to get rid of this plant and even that will be a tedious if not long term commitment. This plant does well in a pot-especially the loose hanging version.

Star of Bethlehem flower can be used for those who need restoration. It has calming properties with the ability to sooth those who have experienced a traumatic shock. People who have never addressed their past issues and have turned to drugs, alcohol, the occult, etc., are good candidates for the properties of this plant. It can also be used for those who have come through the death of a loved one and are experiencing the sense of loss.