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Healthy Home Gardening

Star-of-Bethlehem

Liliaceae Ornithogalum umbellatum

Thunder
Thunder
Flower Info: Petal # 6
Color 1    
Color 2    
Type Categories Useful Parts
Herb
Herb
Food Medicine
Weed Poison
Roots

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Star-of-Bethlehem

Main Order Diagram | Plant Order List

Liliaceae Family
Tricyrtis hirta Japanese Toad Lily Lilium Formosanum Tiger lily Asiatic Lily Blue Flax Lily Tulip Ledoboaria socialis Fly Poison Foxtail lily

Ornithogalum Genus
Star-of-Bethlehem Star of Bethlehem Flower - Pictures
Other Names for this Plant

Sleepydick, Starflower, Summer Snowflake, Summer Snowdrop, Grass Lily, Cape Lily, Nap-at-Noon, Star at Noon, Eleven O'Clock Ladies (or Lady Eleven O'Clock), or by the French equivalent, Bella d'onze heures or Dame d'onze heures, the Pyrenees' Star of Bethlehem, Dove's Dung, Pigeon's Dung, or Sparrow's Dung


Location

Origin & Range: Native to Eurasia, North Africa, & the Mideast. In Europe, it is found from Portugal and Spain in the west, south to Italy, north to parts of France and east to Turkey. In the United States, this plant is found from Maine to Florida including all the states west to South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. It is also found in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Utah. This plant has been reported from all New England states.

Physical Description
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A perennial from a bulb that is often misidentified as a grass or as wild garlic or wild onion. Star-of-Bethlehem has been sold as an ornamental and has escaped to become a weed of agronomic and horticultural crops, pastures and lawns. Leaves are shiny and dark green, with a distinct white midrib. Leaves are 4 to 12 inches long, 2 to 6 mm wide, and hollow in cross section. Leaves lack any garlic or onionlike smell. Flowers consist of six white petals that collectively resemble a star. Flowers occur at the ends of leafless flowering stems. Plants reproduce from large bulbs that are oval shaped. Smaller bulblets occur around the parent bulb.

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Liliaceae
Liliales
Liliales
Monocots
Monocots
One First-Leaves (Monocots)
Mesangiospermae
Mesangiospermae
Half Capsule Seed Division
Magnoliophyta
Magnoliophyta
Magnolia Division
Spermatophytes
Spermatophytes
Seed Plants
Euphyllophytina
Real Land Plants
Polysporangiates
Multiple Spore Sub-Kingdom
Stomatophytes
Stomatophytes
Air Pores Sub-Kingdom
Embryophytes
Embryophytes
Multicellular Land Plants
Streptobionta
Streptobionta
Multicellular Plants
Plantae
Plantae
Plants
Eukaryota
Eukaryota
Cells with a Nucleus
General Information

Star-of-Bethlehem causes potential threats to native vegetation. It has been sold as an ornamental and has escaped to become a weed of landscapes, pastures, hayfields, turf grass, and lawns.
The name Star of Bethlehem is mainly in allusion to the six-pointed blooms, but may also have come about because it was used as a famine food by medieval pilgrims to the Holy Land & was to be found growing all around Bethelehem, perhaps planted there by the Christian pilgrims. It was known in Europe in an earlier time as Dog's Onion, but by the 15th Century it became associated with pilgrims & so came to be called Star-of-Bethlehem
Its second most common name, Sleepydick or Sleepy Dick, is from not opening its buds until toward the end of morning. This habit also gave rise to the names Nap-at-Noon, Star at Noon, & Eleven O'Clock Ladies (or Lady Eleven O'Clock), or by the French equivalent, Bella d'onze heures or Dame d'onze heures.
Extracts are used by herbalists for treatment of fearfulness, suicidal depression, or grief, as well as for ulcers, flatulance, & such serious diseases as cancer. Efficacy in treating mental distress & serious physical diseases is of the highest level of dubiousness. No modern herbalist could seriously recommend Sleepdick medicinally
A homeopathic remedy is made from the bulbs. It is useful in the treatment of certain forms of cancer. The plant is used in Bach flower remedies - the keywords for prescribing it are 'After effect of shock, mental or physical'. It is also one of the five ingredients in the 'Rescue remedy'
The bulbs are edible if they are either well-cooked, or dried & powdered. They are sometimes eaten raw, but the possible dangers make that less than wise. According to Stephen Facciola's Cornucopia: A Source Book of Edible Plants the blossoms have been used as an ingredient in baked bread & pastries.
The plant is toxic. Flowers and bulbs contain glycosides similar to digitalis.

Ingesting two bulbs can cause shortness of breath in adults. Symptoms of toxicosis include nausea, salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, and shortness of breath, pain, burning, and swelling of lips, tongue, and throat, skin irritation following prolonged contact.

Star-of-Bethlehem

Star-of-Bethlehem
Flower Close up

Star-of-Bethlehem

Star-of-Bethlehem
Backs of flowers showing the green stripe

Star-of-Bethlehem

Star-of-Bethlehem


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