Star of Bethlehem is a pretty flower plant but has hard to pronounce the name. Many myths exist; it’s hard to eradicate, or it is a bit poisonous, etc.
In this guide, I’ll cover all aspects and merely explore the origin of the Star of Bethlehem, history, Species and characteristics, proper cultivation guide and something more.
As I mentioned earlier, it has a little different name; upon hearing Star of Bethlehem, 1st thought comes about fish, not flowers. Isn’t it?
What Is Star of Bethlehem
Star of Bethlehem has warmed nature. It’s not uncommonly seen in lawns or gardens. Star of Bethlehem blooms early spring milky bulbs that seem like night’s queen.
The plant has a bit resemblance with onion, wild garlic, or chives in physical appearance and grown culture. It does not belong to the onion (Amaryllidaceae) family, nor does it have a familiar odor.
Star of Bethlehem was found across the United States except for the South and Northern regions. It is native to Europe. The plant blooms beautiful six milky petal flowers. White color flowers have green strips on the underside of the petal.
Although the plant has a sub-specie that blooms bluish color flowers, its leaves are thick and dark green. Star Bethlehem grows in lawns or landscape areas. It germinates early and often escaped it upon cultivating a landscape bed.
How looks the plant of Star of Bethlehem
Star of Bethlehem herbaceous plant comprises of 1” wide and 6 to 12 inches long basal leaves. Leaves curved up from the base and downward around the middle.
The plant’s leaves have white stripes in the middle of the leaf with parallel venation. From the center of the rosette, flower stalks produce up to 9″ tall. Basal leaves and flower stalks are hairless.
When the flower entirely blooms, the flower has 6 milky petals, 6 stamens and a pistil. Each petal has a green line, and stamens have a light brown color.
Star of Bethlehem usually fruitful in late spring for 2 weeks. In the blooming period, it spreads the pleasant floral scent sensations.
History of Star of Bethlehem
Star of Bethlehem is native to Europe. Its botanical name is Ornithogalum umbellatum, and this falls in (Liliaceae) Lily family. Star of Bethlehem is native to the Mediterranean region.
It seems too wild garlic and blooms in late spring or early summer. Its cultivation is escaped from multiple areas, but its blossoming season looks beautiful and attracts a few weeks. It has dangerous, poisonous native plant characteristics.
When grows and blooms star of Bethlehem plant, it brings attractive addition in the landscape, small flowers and foliage bulbs etc.
Where did the name come from?
It’s too much older plants. Its name is itself much more senior, since 2nd century AD. The genus name Ornithogalum was adopted in the 18th century when all plants are enlisted in a standardized name.
It has a Greek origin name and translates as “Bird’s milk.” Another derivation of Latin name is “dove dung:” quoted in the Holy Bible (II Kings 6:25). They assumed it as single-sex and produced milk to feed the little one in ancient belief, bird’s milk meant a “wondrous thing.”
The English name Star of Bethlehem was adopted during the Crusades in the middle ages.
Star of Bethlehem requires to grow full sun, well-drained soil conditions, and a fertile landscape. Usually most compatible period for seedling is spring to mid-summer.
It commonly exists in southern NE Illinois and central states. It grows in flowerbeds for easy trimming or escapes when need. It can invade high quality natural landscapes. It’s an ornamental plant.
Primary pollinators are bees. Its flower’s foliage and bulbs are considered toxic that contain poisonous material of livestock. Cooked bulbs are edible for humans, but adequate precautions should take.
Late spring to early summer, the star of Bethlehem blooms up a 10 inches tall flower spikes. Its 6 petaled star-like flower blooms and petals have a green line at the underside of the petal. Flowers bloom in the morning and close in the evening.
Companion Plants for Star of Bethlehem
The Star of Bethlehem is the safest plant upon cultivation in containers or pots. This a good companion of various plants like hellebores and dianthus.
|COMMON NAME||Star of Bethlehem|
|Botanical name||Ornithogalum umbellatum|
|plant family ( Specie)||Liliaceae|
|Sun exposure||Full Sun|
|soil type||Well Drained|
|mature size||9 feet in height|
|Flower color||Pure white, off white,|
|native area||The Mediterranean and Europe|
|Spread||1 to 3 feet wide|
How to get rid of them
Usually, Bethlehem’s star is considered a poisonous or toxic plant that can be dangerous for livestock or ourselves. But it has a unique history since the 2nd century AD—many landscapers code multiple horror stories about the star of Bethlehem plant, flower, and bulbs.
Therefore it is considered as weed and recommended it shouldn’t be planted as an ornamental. At the same time, this plant spread massively. It too tough to eliminate. It is a time consuming and tedious task. You may need to dig up all the bulbs from small areas to get rid of repetitive growth.
This process needs a year to dig up all bulbs because the soil has hidden bulbs that may cultivate again. Unless you deposit these bulbs properly, it survives and spreads in your garden or landscape. But don’t worry, Star of Bethlehem is not too hard to remove.
Earlier, you enjoy its blossoming flowers and, in the end, escape or harvest the entire garden land. Sometime you may need Glyphosate for controlling the plant broadleaf. Stays away and don’t try to ingestion; all parts of the Star of Bethlehem plant are poisonous.
Star of Bethlehem plant is banned and labeled noxious in 10+ states of America.
Star of Bethlehem is an amazingly attractive and aggressive plant. It has more surprising features like erect flowers, triangular filaments, and a dark green line underneath the leaves.
It has a wild garlic appearance, but it hasn’t any onion or garlic odor upon crashing. It’s an attractive, tough to eradicate, and long history plant.