All About Ornithogalum (Star of Bethlehem) – History, Meaning, Facts, Care & More

Its biblical name is what makes this flower beautiful in its entirety. This perennial plant and its small and delicate flowers should be in your garden.

  • Ornithogalum Facts

A plant native to the Mediterranean region, the flower buds of the Star of Bethlehem belongs to the winter lily family. Be reminded though that these bulbs can turn awful if allowed to run wild in your garden. Its flower is as small as a thumb in white color. During winter, all you will see is green leaves and blooms in late April or early May. There on, a spike of multiple colors shoots up and each bears star-like petals. The blooming of its flowers usually occurs in the evening or early morning.

Ornithogalum Care

Growing of Star of Bethlehem can be done in either full sun or partial shade. Avoid having them grown on shady spots, the pace of growth becomes slower than usual and produces fewer flowers than expected. Only water them when needed as overwatering could kill the plants. The kind of soil it grows has to be well-drained. In addition, do not let these compete with each other and make sure to plant them apart. Star of Bethlehem will look nice on pots or on a garden. One concern is how invasive its growth occurs and may overpower other plants in your garden. They spread easily and can overtake other plants. Even herbicides are no match for these flowers. It has waxy leaves which are resistant from herbicidal effects. The only way to remove it is to dig it up. In order to keep it from spreading all over your garden, you can plant them in containers instead. In that way, their growth is limited given the space it has.

  • Poisonous

Star of Bethlehem belongs to a family of lilies. Most lilies are poisonous and just like this one it has toxins which could poison animals. Make sure your pets are prevented from access to these plants. One small bite of the leaves would result in damage you will not expect. Take note of this and prevent harming your pets and livestock.

  • Ornithogalum Origin

As to how it got its name, the Bible as its basis. It has a connection to the birth of Jesus Christ in the Bible where a luminous celestial object rising in the sky led the Wise Men to the place where Jesus was born. God wants to keep the star, he chose to let it stay on earth by exploding it into a million pieces. From there on, the flower Star of Bethlehem is known to be the pieces of the star. The flower is used as a symbol of purity, atonement, and reconciliation. In addition, there are other names that this flower has. One popular different name of this flower is Ornithogalum, a Greek word, to mean as ‘bird milk’. The term was used to describe something that is incredible.

  • Wild Garlic

Though often used in wedding arrangements and bridal bouquets, the Star of Bethlehem is similar to wild garlic. The Star of Bethlehem is a member of the Hyacinthaceae family. It is related to garlic and onions and is known to have many names like Arabian flowers, field onions, or dove’s dung. It may look like it is garlic before it spikes shoots up, but once it spreads would show off star-like petals that are too wonderful to look at. Just imagine how your gardens would look really nice with Star of Bethlehem on it.

  • Ornithogalum Symbolism

This flower seems to mean more for Christians. Knowing how it got its name, the flower is seen widely on Christian ceremonies. Be it funeral or wedding services, the Star of Bethlehem is a favorite during these setups. Weddings, Christenings, birthdays, or funerals will most like opt to have this flower placed in the location. Florists opt more often to these rather than other flowers when it comes to these events involving Christians.

  • Ornithogalum Meaning

Both religion and the way how people receive a color, the Star of Bethlehem is commonly associated with purity, innocence, truth, and honesty. More reason for Christians to use it on its wedding events, or used in sending funeral flowers. The color white tells how this flower is associated with purity. That is why it is used mostly on weddings and funerals to send a condolence message of purity. In addition, this may mean a lot to funerals too, as the color tells that the deceased deserves a second chance and his innocence could save him from going somewhere except heaven.

  • Ornithogalum History

The bulb of the Star of Bethlehem is believed to be boiled and eaten in some locations. This is a continued norm to some even today. Historians claim that ancients take some of these bulbs when they travel. It is their food replacement as they take journeys around the globe. Today, medical research is being conducted to prove as to how its bulbs can be effectively used to relieve lung congestions and improve heart function.

  • Ornithogalum Use

A number of nutritionists would prefer to say that the bulbs of Star of Bethlehem are much healthier than garlic. In some locations, it is used to treat cough and high blood pressure. Some would even claim how excellent it is to treat irritated skin, eczema, dermatitis, bruising, and wounds. Besides all these medical uses, the Star of Bethlehem flower is used to tell a person to always have hope, cherish their loved ones, and be honest in everything they do.