Botanical Name and Pronunciation:
Ornithogalum umbellatum (or-ni-THOG-a-lum um-bel-AH-tum)
white, ivory, yellow and at times a green or copper tint at the base
Form and Size:
Star of Bethlehem has a leafless stem, which is about 12 – 24 inches in height. Its flowers are star-like and about 1 inch in diameter. There are usually 12 – 30 flowers at stem ends.
up to 14 days
Cut under water and place in fresh water with flower food.
History and Usage:
A member of the Liliaceae (lily) family, star of Bethlehem originated in South Africa. Its botanical name comes from the word “ornis” which is Greek for a bird and “gala” which is Greek for milk. This is most likely in reference to the color of the star of Bethlehem. Because of its long vase life, star of Bethlehem is a useful flower all year round. It mixes very nicely with spring and summer flowers, but can go in any arrangement.
Points of Interest:
Relatives of star of Bethlehem include onion, alstroemeria, hyacinth and the tulip.