Star of bethlehem flowers

Plant of the Week: Star of Bethlehem

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture does not promote, support or recommend plants featured in “Plant of the Week.” Please consult your local Extension office for plants suitable for your region.

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Star of Bethlehem
Latin: Ornithogalum umbellatum

Star of Bethlehem is a pretty, but invasive, bulb that’s hard to eradicate once established in the lawn.

Mention “the one that got away,” and you automatically think of fish, not flowers. One of these floral escapees, the Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum), has become a nuisance in gardens and lawns when allowed to run wild.

Star of Bethlehem is a winter bulb of the lily family native to the Mediterranean region. From thumb-sized white, naked bulbs, it begins sending up tufts of bright green leaves in late winter. Each grass-like leaf is marked with a white line down the midrib. Large bulbs produce many offsets so the clumps of foliage may be 6 inches across.

The clumps of foliage somewhat resemble wild garlic except star of Bethlehem has no odor when the foliage is crushed. Also, garlic foliage tends to grow straight up while this species has arching leaves. Both stand out vividly in late winter against the beige backdrop of zoysiagrass or bermudagrass lawns. The leaves die as summer arrives and the bulbs go dormant.

In late April or early May, it sends up a 10-inch tall multi-flowered spike bearing from 12 to 30 white, six-petaled star-like blooms. The backsides of the petals are marked with a broad band of green. The flowers open in the morning and close each evening.

Seed production is uncommon so most spread is by means of the small, abundantly produced bulblets. These get scattered about by tilling the soil, transplanting neighboring plants or during any digging operation in the garden.

The genus name Ornithogalum was adopted by Linnaeus in the 18th century when he standardized plant names, but the name itself is much older, having been in use since at least the 2nd century AD. It translates from Greek as “bird’s milk” – ornis – the root word for ornithology and gala – milk, whose principal sugar is galactose.

Scholars have puzzled over the derivation of the Latin name. One possible explanation is that the “dove dung” mentioned in the Bible (II Kings 6:25) as being sold for five pieces of silver during a time of famine in Samaria could be the bulbs of this species. The bulbs apparently are edible though they contain heart stimulants with a digitalis-like reaction. Another possibility is that it follows from an ancient belief that doves were of a single sex and produced milk to feed their young; thus bird’s milk meant “a wondrous thing.”

The English name Star of Bethlehem seems to date from the Middle Ages – possibly during the Crusades. The bulbs were sometimes used as emergency rations during pilgrimages to the Holy Land or, more likely, brought home as souvenirs of their journey.

To intentionally plant star of Bethlehem in the garden is to flirt with danger; more often when questions arise concerning this plant they center on how to kill it. While time consuming and tedious, digging out the bulbs is the most practical approach for small areas.

I’ve watched various lawn care companies battle a stand of star of Bethlehem in a zoysiagrass lawn for over 20 years, and to date they have been unable to achieve complete eradication. The conventional broadleaf herbicides give only about 20 percent control whereas, according to research using some of the newer and more effective products, control using the best products is still only 80 percent. Effective chemical control requires perseverance and patience.

By: Gerald Klingaman, retired
Extension Horticulturist – Ornamentals
Extension News – May 12, 2006

The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture does not maintain lists of retail outlets where these plants can be purchased. Please check your local nursery or other retail outlets to ask about the availability of these plants for your growing area.

Now that the weather has warmed up and nature is coming alive again, it is not uncommon to see plants growing in your lawn that you have not seen before. I am not talking about dandelions or chickweed, but plants that sort of resemble onions or chives growing in bunches in your lawn or landscape beds. What you may be seeing are early spring bulbs that are blooming at this time of year.

One of the more common “escaped” bulbs is called Star of Bethlehem. It is often confused with wild onion and wild garlic, but does not have the pungent odor common to those plants.

Star of Bethlehem is native to Europe. They have escaped from flower beds and can be found all across the US except in the extreme north and southern regions.

They are an attractive six-petal flower that is waxy, with a familiar green strip on the underside. The flowers are generally white, although some can take on a sort of bluish cast. The leaves are thick and range in color from pale to dark green with a whitish grooved midrib running its length. All parts of the Star of Bethlehem plant are poisonous.

Star of Bethlehem grows as tufts or clumps in landscape areas or in lawns. It may be okay as a clump growth in a landscape bed, but growing like that in a lawn can be a distraction to some homeowners. Since it germinates so early in the year, it will often escape attempts to remove it when cultivating a landscape bed.

Controlling these plants on a home lawn can require multiple applications of a broadleaf weed control, starting in the early spring. Controlling them in a landscape bed can be challenging as most broadleaf weed control products are not labelled for use in those areas. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Round-Up®, shows limited control on Star of Bethlehem.

The best you can do is to dig up all the bulbs, but I have tried that and it is difficult. As little as one bulb left behind will produce a bunch more in one year.

You can still purchase these plants as bulbs, but care should be taken not to throw the soil from finished plants out into your garden. That soil will contain the same bulbs you are trying to remove. The same goes for placing the bulbs in a compost pile. Unless your compost gets really warm, the bulbs will survive and spread across your lawn or landscape as you utilize the compost in your gardens.

In my opinion, don’t worry about these signals of spring. The flowers are short-lived and can easily be removed by mowing over them. As it is said, one person’s flower is another person’s weed. My suggestion is to enjoy the early color and don’t let them bother you. They will be gone before you know it.

If you have questions about problem areas in your lawn this spring be sure to contact your local neighborhood lawn care team at Spring-Green.

Ornithogalum dubium – Sun Star

Ornithogalum dubium, also known as a Sun Star (or Orange star, snake flower) is a perennial bulb plant type that bursts into a gorgeous bloom of bright tangerine colored flowers.

It prefers full sun and moderately moist soil while growing or blooming. The Sun Star typically blooms in the spring or summer and likes full sunlight.

For Ornithogalum dubium/Sun Star plant care

  • While blooming, keep soil moist and put in an area with bright indirect light.
  • Remove any spent flowers by gently pulling the spike from the main body of the plant. This may seem harmful, but once the plant has bloomed, it will die back on its own. But with proper care, it will come back into bloom each winter.
  • Prune off foliage only after it has turned yellow and is dead. Before this it is still gathering sunlight to use for the next year’s growth.
  • Once the blooming period has finished and the leaves die back, this plant requires a bit of a rest – it will need a cool, dry dormant period and you should limit watering. Some people say to not water until the plant begins growth again, which is fine – just don’t let it dry out.
  • Once it begins to start growing again, you can begin to water and fertilize the plant and wait for those beautiful vibrant blooms. Check the soil every few days to make sure it is moist – water as needed.

Foolproof method to watering your sunstar – insert the Horty Girl Smart Stick into the soil. Similar to baking muffins – Pull it out, if it comes out slightly dry or complete dry – it’s time to water your plant.

Warning: This plant is poisonous if ingested.

How’s your sunstar doing? I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment, question or your thoughts below!

Star of Bethlehem plant Quick Facts
Name: Star of Bethlehem plant
Scientific Name: Ornithogalum umbellatum
Origin North-western Africa, Europe and western Asia
Shapes Capsules are sub globose in shape about 8–18 mm and 3-sided
Health benefits Beneficial for nervous breakdown, depression, intestinal disorders, ulcers, blisters, pulmonary edema, fluid retention and certain forms of cancer

Star of Bethlehem or Sleepy dick, scientifically known as Ornithogalum umbellatum is a member of the Liliaceae (Lily family) and is related to garlic and onions. The plant is native throughout north-western Africa (i.e. Algeria and Morocco), Europe (i.e. Austria, Belgium, Hungary, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Ukraine, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Romania, Yugoslavia, France, Portugal and Spain) and western Asia (i.e. Cyprus and Turkey). In North America, it has escaped its cultivation as a garden ornamental and can be found in many areas. The plant has got several common names including Arabian flowers, field onions, wonder flowers, dove’s dung, bird’s milk, chincherinchee, common star of Bethlehem, nap at noon, nap-at-noon, pigeon dung, sleepy Dick, sleepy-Dick, snowdrop, snowdrops, star flower, star of Bethlehem, summer snowflake, summer snow flake and ten o’clock lady.

Genus name comes from the Greek words ornis meaning a bird and gala meaning milk for the white flowers. Specific epithet refers to the flowers being in an umbel. The common name of the plant, ‘Star of Bethlehem’, is based on its star-shaped flowers and referred to the Star of Bethlehem that appeared in the biblical account of Jesus birth. It is recorded that the Swedes have eaten this bulb in times of shortage. Round the main small bulb there are usually a number of bulbules about the size of sago grains, but only the parent bulb is enclosed in a yellowish outer skin. Some states regard them as noxious weeds & wetlands invaders. We have patches of them in our gardens that we never planted, but which we’ve made no attempt to eradicate, as they’re really quite lovely. This species is listed as a Class C Noxious Weed in the State of Alabama.

Plant description

Star of Bethlehem plant is a short, herbaceous, perennial bulbous flowering plant that grows about 0.2 to 0.3 m tall. The plant is found growing in roadsides, open forests, cemetery prairies, grassy meadows, sunny or semi-shaded banks of rivers and streams and drainage ditches, and miscellaneous waste areas. The plant thrives in moderately fertile, moist and well-drained soil. The plant has white bulb which is 15–25 millimeters (0.6–1.0 in) long and 18–32 mm (0.7–1.3 in) in diameter with fibrous roots at the base and increase to form large clumps. Each bulb can produce up to 7 secondary bulbs. The coat of the bulb is membranous. Flowering stem is leafless, cylindrical, erect and 100-300 mm tall.

Leaves

Plant has 6–10 leaves that are narrow and linear, measuring 10-30 cm (4-12 in.) long and 2-5 mm (0.1-0.2 in.) wide. The leaves form a tuft from which a scape emerges. It has a waxy surface and is dark green in color with a white mid-rib. They are hollow and tend to arch over as they grow longer.

Flower

The white, star-shaped flowers are borne on a scape that can grow up to 30 cm (1 ft.) in height, but is usually shorter. The umbel-like raceme consists of 3-10 flowers. Each flower has 6 petals and measures 1.5-2 cm (0.5-0.75 in.) in diameter. The outside of the flower is green with white margins. The flowers appear on the plant from April to May. The blooming period occurs during the late spring and lasts about 2 weeks. There is a pleasant floral scent. The flowers open during the morning and usually close by noon.

Fruit

Each fertile flower is replaced by a 3-celled seed capsule that is sub-globose in shape about 8–18 mm long. Each locule contains many black seeds. Seeds are black, oval to spherical, 2 mm diameter. Surface is rough and hairless.

Bulbs-of-Star of Bethlehem plant Closer-view-of-flower-of-Star of Bethlehem plant Closer-view-of-leaf-of-Star of Bethlehem plant
Flowering-buds-of-Star of Bethlehem plant Flower-of-Star of Bethlehem plant Fruit-of-Star of Bethlehem plant
Leaves-of-Star of Bethlehem plant Plant-Illustraton-of-Star of Bethlehem plant Sketch-of-Star of Bethlehem plant
Star of Bethlehem plant Star of Bethlehem plant-plant-growing-wild Small-Star of Bethlehem plant
Traditional uses and benefits of Star of Bethlehem plant

  • Plant’s extract is used as sedative, for the treatment of nervous breakdown, suicidal behavior in people with depression or sadness and intestinal disorders (gases).
  • Homeopathic remedy is made from the bulbs.
  • It is useful in the treatment of certain forms of cancer.
  • It is also one of the five ingredients in the Rescue remedy.
  • It is applied externally to the skin against ulcers and blisters.
  • In folk medicine it is used to improve cardiac function and treat pulmonary edema and fluid retention, especially against leg swelling.

Precautions

  • Skin contact with the bulb can cause dermatitis in sensitive people.
  • The bulb consists of alkaloids and is poisonous.
  • Bulb is poisonous to grazing animals.
  • Plant is known to be poisonous causing nausea, vomiting, stomach and intestinal irritation, burning, dilated pupils, tremors, seizures, shortness of breath, swelling of the lips, tongue and throat, abnormal heart rate, cardiac arrest, and death.
  • The whole plant is poisonous and its consumption may cause skin irritation, nausea, salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, dyspnea (shortness of breath), and pain, swelling of lips, tongue and throat.

Common star of Bethlehem plant Management

Identification and awareness of Star of Bethlehem, together with good farm hygiene, are important for handling the weed due to the limited control options available.

As spread is mostly by means of machinery, farm hygiene is imperative to prevent the spread of Star of Bethlehem. Thoroughly wash machinery when moving from areas of known infestations and avoid the areas altogether where possible, e.g. sow around infestations.

Physical removal of bulbs is the most effective form of eradication however it is only practical for small infestations. Once the infested area becomes too large for physical removal, control is very difficult. Star of Bethlehem is near impossible to control in winter crops and pastures and severe infestations are likely to need a complete crop or pasture renovation.

There are no herbicides listed for the control of Star of Bethlehem in dry land cropping systems in New South Wales. Some are registered for use in Sugar Cane in New South Wales and some are registered in Queensland for other situations however the efficacy is variable.

A small amount of research (mostly in America) has been carried out to evaluate herbicides for the control of Star of Bethlehem. The results indicate that Gramoxone® is the only herbicide to provide effective control the season following herbicide application.

78% 78% Awesome

In mid March we visited Wayland Wood, near Watton in the Norfolk Brecks. This beautiful wood is managed by Norfolk Wildlife Trust and is linked to the story of Babes in the Wood.

In past years we have visited the wood in early May to see its Bluebells, or in winter when we have taken part in coppicing work parties. (Coppicing is a traditional form of woodland management and involves broadleaved cutting trees down to the base and allowing them to regrow. It allows extra light to reach the woodland floor, which encourages the growth of woodland wild flowers.) However, this year we went at a slightly different time, mainly to see the Yellow Star-of-Bethlehem, Gagea lutea. This was a plant species we had read about, but had never seen.

Yellow Star-of-Bethlehem grows in moist, shady habitats on basic soils and, although it occurs from Spain and Norway across Eurasia to Siberia and Japan, including Finland, it is restricted in its distribution in the British Isles. In Norfolk, Wayland Wood is the spot to see it.

Our visit was a success. We found a small patch of the plant beside a main path, but there was a much bigger stand further into the wood.

Yellow Star-of-Bethlehem is often described as being “shy-flowering”, so our sighting of the plant exceeded our expectations. A friend visited last week and it was still in flower, but Stinging Nettles were growing fast and threatening to engulf the plants. In another few weeks the Yellow Star-of-Bethlehem will die back for the year as the woodland canopy closes overhead and it will seem like it was just a lovely dream.

Yellow Star-of-Bethlehem is a perennial and, depending on the location flowers from March to May. It is a member of the Lily family, the Liliaceae. The plant arises from a bulb and the flowerheads form an umbel-like cluster of 1 – 7 flowers and each tepal has a band of green on its back.

Thanks to James Emerson for letting me know that the plant was in flower.

Star Of Bethlehem Plant Care: Tips On Growing Star Of Bethlehem Bulbs

Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum) is a winter bulb belonging to the Lily family, and blooms in late spring or early summer. It is native to the Mediterranean region and is similar to wild garlic. Its foliage has arching leaves but does not have the garlic odor when crushed.

Star of Bethlehem flowers, though attractive for a few weeks when in bloom, have escaped cultivation in many areas. When this happens, they quickly become a danger to native plant life.

Star of Bethlehem Facts

This plant can quickly out-perform and take over when planted in beds with other ornamental bulbs. Landscapers tell horror stories about trying to get rid of Star of Bethlehem flower bulbs in lawns.

This is a shame, because when growing Star of Bethlehem in the garden, it is an attractive addition in the beginning. Small, star-shaped flowers rise on stems above draping foliage. However, Star of Bethlehem facts conclude that it is safest to grow this plant in containers or areas where it may be kept confined. Many agree that it is best not to plant it at all.

Some say Star of Bethlehem flowers are good companion plants for early blooming hellebores and dianthus. Others remain steadfast in the notion that the plant is a noxious weed and should never be planted as an ornamental. In fact, Star of Bethlehem flowers are labeled noxious in Alabama, and are on the invasive exotic list in 10 other states.

Growing Star of Bethlehem

If you decide to plant Star of Bethlehem flower bulbs in your landscape, do it in fall. The plant is hardy in USDA Zone 3 with mulch and grows in Zones 4 to 8 without mulch.

Plant Star of Bethlehem flower bulbs in a full to mostly sunny area of the landscape. This plant can take 25 percent shade, but grows best in full sun location.

Star of Bethlehem flower bulbs should be planted about 2 inches (5 cm.) apart and at a depth of 5 inches (13 cm.) to the base of the bulb. To ward off invasive tendencies, plant in a buried container or an area that is lined and edged so that bulbs can only spread so far. Deadhead flowers before seeds develop.

Star of Bethlehem plant care is not necessary, except to prevent the abundant spread. If you find the plant becoming too prolific, Star of Bethlehem plant care requires removal of the entire bulb to stop its growth.

Flower symbolism dates back hundreds of years and flowers have been an important part of our lives for centuries. They were there to help us say goodbye to the people we love and to greet the ones who were coming back to us.

Flowers were used for expressing deepest and the most hidden emotions to others, but they were also there to make our homes more beautiful and colorful.

Flowers were a special part of ceremonies and events people held in honor of gods and deities. Flower color and symbolic meaning were there to make the entire event more special and unique, which is why we still love them until this day. Flowers associate us to a lot of beautiful moments with other people and make us think back at some beautiful moments.

In today’s text, we will be talking about the Star of Bethlehem flower which has a very rich and symbolic history. This flower with its unique name is a special symbol of Christianity, but you will see that it has a lot of other symbolic meanings tied to it. So, if you ever wanted to learn more about it, here is the perfect opportunity.

Meaning of the Star of Bethlehem Flower flower

Every flower has its own symbolic meaning and history behind it. The Star of Bethlehem flower has several important meanings that need to be taken in consideration next time you want to accentuate the symbolic meaning of a certain event.

The Star of Bethlehem flower has following meanings:

  • Purity
  • Hope
  • Forgiveness
  • Honesty
  • Innocence

Purity – This beautiful flower is a symbol of purity. This especially goes for the white Star of Bethlehem flower and it is a perfect decoration for weddings ceremonies, outdoor baptisms or anything else that has this symbolic meaning.

Hope – The Star of Bethlehem flower is also a symbol of hope and wishing for better times. There is a reason and a story linked to this symbolic meaning, and we will talk about it later on in the text.

Forgiveness – The Star of Bethlehem flower is also a symbol of forgiveness and offering someone another chance. If you ever wanted to tell someone that you are ready to take him or her back, this is the perfect flower to express this desire.

Honesty and innocence – This gentle flower is also a symbol of innocence and honesty. This symbolic meaning has its own historic background. This beautiful flower is a perfect way to say you are sorry or that you want to have another chance.

Star of Bethlehem Flower – Etymological meaning

The Star of Bethlehem flower has its scientific name and the name we all know it for. The Star of Bethlehem name comes from Christianity and it is tied to an old legend. The legend says that God created the stars to guide the wise men to the newborn Christ.

After the stars fulfilled their purpose, God decided the stars were too beautiful to vanish so he descended them to Earth and made them into the Star of Bethlehem flower. Since then, the beautiful flower makes the fields and our back gardens.

Another etymological definition says that the Star of Bethlehem flower’s name comes from the Greek term. The Star of Bethlehem flower is also called the ornithogalum umbellatum.

The reason why it is called like that is because the Greek used to call the bulbs of this flower Dove’s Dung, which meant bird’s milk flower. Some cultures use this name for this flower even today.

Star of Bethlehem Flower – Symbolism

The Star of Bethlehem flower has a very strong symbolic meaning. This flower is an important symbol in Christianity and the name itself tells us already to what it is tied to. According to a legend, the God created the Star of Bethlehem to lead the wise men to baby Christ to give him gifts. After the Star fulfilled its purpose, God decided it was too beautiful to destroy so he turned the star into the Star of Bethlehem flower.

Since, that moment, this flower has been an important decoration in religious ceremonies such as baptisms and weddings. Some even take it to funerals and other religious events.

Star of Bethlehem Flower – Color meaning

Color of the flower can have a strong symbolic meaning and it can either add to the meaning or take away from it. The Star of Bethlehem flower comes in several colors but its most common color is yellow or white.

White

  • The color white is a symbol of purity, innocence and spirituality. This flower color goes perfectly with the symbolic meaning of the Star of Bethlehem flower which is hope, purity and innocence. You can gift this flower to almost anyone, but it can also be a perfect decoration for wedding ceremonies or other special events.

Orange

  • Color orange is a symbol of happiness, joy and optimism. This flower color is not as common as the white, but for this flower it symbolizes exactly this. You can gift this flower to almost anyone you love and to someone you want to see happy and smiling.

Yellow

  • Color yellow is also a symbol of joy, happiness and positive energy. The yellow Star of Bethlehem flower can be a symbol of purity, innocence and hope but it can also symbolize joy and optimism. You can also gift this flower to friends, family members and every other person you love.

Blue

  • Color blue symbolizes trust, honesty and respect. This flower color goes perfectly with the Star of Bethlehem flower because it accentuates its symbolic meaning. This is a perfect flower for bouquets for your home and for your garden.

Purple

  • Purple Star of Bethlehem flower is a symbol of royalty, beauty and it is definitely unique because of its appearance and symbolism. This is a perfect flower for someone who is special for you and who captured your heart.

Star of Bethlehem Flower – Botanical facts and characteristics

The Star of Bethlehem Flower grows 20-30 cm in height, in nature. It has an upright and thin bulb, white or slightly yellowish. In the spring, mostly two long, pointed leaves, in dark green (the leaves are quite glossy) grow from the bulbs. Star of Bethlehem Flower has a strong and distinctive scent of garlic, especially if it is rubbed or crushed in your hand.

Spread across Europe, it grows in damp deciduous forests in the valleys, along the streams. Seed is best to sow in the fall, directly in the garden, to the place where you plan to leave it. The bulb of bulbs grows in the late summer, after the flowers have risen. In the spring, newborn plants can be transplanted if the desired number grows. The seed is sown in a fertile and humid soil, in a semi-solid or full shade. The seed is then covered with a smaller layer of soil and left to sow. Sown this way the seeds will start rotting in the spring, after the first frostbite and the melting of the snow.

Growing in pottery can begin later if the pots remain sheltered in the house, away from the cold, but the seeds – that are drifting into a healthy plant must be briefly exposed to cold in a damp habitat.

The whole herb has healing effects, much stronger healing power than garlic and needs to be used in fresh condition because it draws 2/3 of its value. It is particularly rich in healing substances in spring when it is to be taken to clear blood from the ‘poisons’ that accumulated during the winter. The name comes from the fact that it is fed in the spring and the bears, which thus cleanses their blood after a long winter dream.

Nutritionists say it is healthier than garlic. Star of Bethlehem cures various diseases, and people with lichens, rheumatism, and gout have to be valued as dry gold.

It treats and calms cough, strengthens heart and weakens cardiac muscle, protects it as a preventive of infarction, improves memory, treats high blood pressure, dizziness, helps with acute chronic diarrhea, and is even more effective at the hard chair, expels intestinal parasites.

It slows down and cures blood vessel atherosclerosis, expands and lowers high blood pressure, improves appetite, eliminates gastrointestinal disturbances, relieves inflammation of the stomach mucus, eliminates overpressure and gases, allows bile elimination, liver improves, stimulates kidney function, soothes bladder inflammation, prevents and treats osteoporosis, reduces pain in arthritis and rheumatism.

Excellent as a bath for irritated skin, eczema, dermatitis, bruising, hematoma and wounds. It is especially good for lichen; if the wounds are cremated with crude fresh juice it will quickly heal. The healing properties of leaves are best in the spring at noon, and the bulbs are best in the fall.

The leaves can be used in the diet (shredded leaves and bulbs) and added as a healthy addition to salads or varieties because they have a scent and taste like garlic. It is also possible to add the roasted meats and other meals to the melted butter and add it as an apple to the meat. The seed of the port can be canned as a pot. This also applies to bulbs that are whitish and 2-5 cm long, and as a very spicy spice can also serve unripe fruits, which appear on the plant during the summer. In spring, this bowl is the best cure that cleans blood, liver and liver from winter combustion products. Bearish or Srijemu unfortunately has one hand – after eating a lettuce salad, do not go to people at least 1 day because the smell of garlic that is “heard” after consumption is “little pussy” compared to the smell that comes from the snout. The berry is not well dried or thermally processed because it then loses most of its medicinal properties.

Tapered leaves will be held for a few days in the refrigerator, and the healing preparations can last up to a year in a cool and dark place.

Mix 20-30 dag of the Star of Bethlehem Flower into a bowl and put it in 1l of white wine, add some honey and let us stand 24h in a warm place and let it sit. This is an outstanding remedy for stomach problems and prevention of most infections coming in winter, and it is taken after a few days at the sips at intervals throughout the day.

Let the chopped Star of Bethlehem Flower sit together with a 40% plum alcohol or other alcohol and leave it in the sun for at least 3 weeks. Take it 3x daily, two weeks for 20 drops, which we you add in a little tea water or in a warm soup.

Star of Bethlehem Flower – Secret message

Flowers were a special part of ceremonies and events people held in honor of gods and deities. Flower color and symbolic meaning were there to make the entire event more special and unique, which is why we still love them until this day. Every flower has a special message for us that we have to hear and implement on our lives.

The Star of Bethlehem flower is telling you to always have hoped, to cherish your loved ones and to be honest no matter what. This beautiful flower might seem gentle and fragile, but the symbolic meaning behind it is extremely big and it has a lot to offer in this area. Choose the right color and surprise someone you love with this beautiful and historically rich flower.

The Star of Bethlehem: a beautiful and meaningful cut flower

Over the holidays, you may have seen the Star of Bethlehem, Ornithogalum umbellatum, in many Christmas floral arrangements. Its name alone signifies its meaning in regards to the holiday season. This flower is often used in religious ceremonies symbolizing innocence, purity, honesty, hope and forgiveness.

Aside from the simple beauty and significant meaning of the bloom, the Star of Bethlehem stands out as a cut flower and has real lasting power. Cut “stars” can last up to a month in a flower arrangement. This makes it an exceptional flower for the holiday season and those who were looking to add a delicate and meaningful flower to their holiday glitz.

Here are a few facts from Michigan State University Extension about this beautiful bloom:

  • The Star of Bethlehem is a winter bulb and belongs to the lily family.
  • It is native to the Mediterranean region, growing wild across the countryside.
  • Although it is not native to the United States, it has become naturalized in many areas, especially throughout Missouri. In fact, Star of Bethlehem flowers are labeled noxious in Alabama and are on the invasive exotic list in 10 other states.
  • This bulb is hardy in USDA zone 3 with mulch and grows in zones 4 to 8 without mulch. They should be planted in a full to mostly sunny area of the landscape. They can also be grown as part of a naturalized woodland area where spread is not as much of a factor.
  • The Star of Bethlehem is very low maintenance, but does like well-drained soil.
  • The Star of Bethlehem plant blooms in the spring through early summer and bulbs can be divided for propagation.
  • The bulb produces star-shaped flowers on grass-like foliage that is marked with a white line down the mid-rib.
  • The plant blooms on a 10-inch long, multi-flowered spike and each spike bears about 12 to 30 star-like blooms with six petals each.
  • The backside of the petals sport a broad band of green.
  • These flowers open in the morning and close every evening, making them good for container gardening as well as flower gardens.

As beautiful as they are you, should keep this plant away from livestock and other animals as the bulbs and foliage contain toxic alkaloids that are poisonous to animals. Do not grow them in areas that tempt your dog or cat to take a sample bite of the leaves.

Star of Bethlehem Control: How To Get Rid of Star of Bethlehem

The Star of Bethlehem is native to Europe and is now a common invader in the United States. Its pleasant appearance and flowers make some lawn owners not regard the Star of Bethlehem as a weed at all but all parts of the plant are toxic. Because of that, they should be removed immediately from lawns once they have emerged.

The way the Star of Bethlehem spreads is through underground bulbs which can each easily produce seven new bulbs annually making it very easy for the weed to quickly take over your lawn if nothing is done to control them. Small clumps of leaves appear mid-spring, and continue to grow into late spring when flowers are produced.

The Star of Bethlehem is a potential threat to native vegetation. It can form dense stands along the edges of rivers and streams, traveling rapidly downstream to new locations. Star of Bethlehem is poisonous to livestock when it grows on pastures, as well as to children who frolic around the plant and are curious enough to taste it.

If Star of Bethlehem is growing on your property, our DIY treatment guide can help. The following guide below was developed by our lawn care experts and will show what you need to do to remove this weed from your lawn with the help of our professional herbicide recommendations. Follow the step-by-step instructions and you are guaranteed to eliminate Star of Bethlehem quickly and affordably.

Identification

Star of Bethlehem is a perennial invasive weed that is easily identified by it’s distinguishing white, star-shaped petals that bloom in late spring. Star Of Bethlehem can be confused with St. Augustinegrass and centipedegrass but is most often confused with wild onion or wild garlic since it similarly develops from bulbs. The main distinguishing difference with Star of Bethlehem is that it doesn’t have the same garlicky oniony odor of those weeds.

Star of Bethlehem leaves are shiny, dark green, and have a unique white midrib. Leaves vary between 4 to 12 inches long, 2 to 6 mm wide, and are hollow in cross-section. The other easily identifiable trait of Star of Bethlehem is its flower which is made up of 6 white petals which together resemble a star.

Use our description and image above to help you to identify Star of Bethlehem on your lawn. If you are having trouble with identification, contact us and we will properly ID the plant for you as well as give you the best product recommendations to control the weed you have.

Inspection

Where to Inspect

Star of Bethlehem grows in clumps and clusters on lawns and landscapes and prefers areas where there is full sun and moist soil. Growth occurs during the spring and by mid-summer, the foliage begins to wither away. Some of the areas where this plant is most common are in cemetery prairies, grassy meadows, sunny or semi-shaded banks of streams and drainage ditches, and miscellaneous waste areas.

This species is usually found in sites that have not been maintained well and have degraded, although it can invade high-quality natural habitats and outcompete native species of plants that bloom during the spring.

What To Look For

If you have Star of Bethlehem on your property, you can’t miss it due to its distinct appearance. Look for it flowers which have six white petals surrounding a round, slightly protruding center.

Treatment

We recommend treating Star of Bethlehem with 2,4-D Amine Selective Weed Killer. 2,4-D has shown to work well against Star of Bethlehem and is a selective herbicide, meaning it will spare your desired grass and just kill the invading weed.

Make sure before mixing and spraying you put on the proper personal protective equipment such as gloves, protective eyewear, and long-sleeved clothing.

Step 1: Apply 2, 4-D Amine

Determine how much 2, 4-D Amine you will need by first measuring the square footage of your lawn. For spot treating small areas, the label says to use 3/4 to 1 fluid ounce (1-1/2 to 2 Tablespoons) per 1,000 square feet in 1 to 3 gallons of water. Based on your measurements and calculations, add the appropriate amount of 2, 4-D Amine into a hand-pump sprayer with water and agitate the spray tank to mix the product well.

Once mixed, apply the mixture to the Star of Bethlehem plants. Use a fan nozzle setting on your sprayer while applying to get a nice even coating on the weed.

Mow before applying the post-emergent to improve uptake of the chemical. After application, mowing should be delayed to give the herbicide time to work. You may need to reapply after 7 to 10 days in order to get complete control. Check the area daily for any new growth and remove any new Star of Bethlehem found as soon as possible.

Prevention

After the Star Of Bethlehem has been successfully eliminated from your turf, you will have to make sure the conditions do not allow for it to return. The best way to do this is by keeping your turf healthy, well-maintained and nutrient-rich.

Mowing infrequently, allowing more shade and not over-watering can help. Conducting good cultural practices to your lawn will promote a thick, lush lawn which will outcompete Star of Bethlehem and make it difficult for Star of Bethlehem to return, grow and establish new seeds.

Key Takeaways

  • Star of Bethlehem is a very invasive weed that is known for its pretty-looking, white, six-petaled flower and its toxic qualities.
  • Our top product to treat Star of Bethlehem is 2-4D Amine Selective Weed Killer.
  • To prevent a return of the weed, implement a solid lawn maintenance routine (mowing, watering, fertilizer) that promotes a thick, healthy turf.

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