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Zone
Zones 1-33, H1
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Minimal Water
Minimal
Toxicity
All parts of plant, especially bulbs, are poisonous if ingested

Ornithogalum umbellatum

Star of Bethlehem
Liliaceae
Bulbs and bulblike plants, Perennials

ORNITHOGALUM

Clusters of typically star-shaped flowers appear on these small, grassy plants in the spring; but O. dubium may start blooming in late winter. Leaves vary from narrow to broad and tend to droop. In mild-winter areas, ornithogalums can fill many different roles. Set them in open woodlands, wild gardens, or rock gardens, where many kinds will naturalize; plant them in containers or mass them in borders.

Where cold winters prevent growing ornithogalums outdoors, plant the bulbs in pots and force them to early flowering indoors or in a greenhouse. Plant bulbs in early fall in well-drained soil amended with plenty of organic matter, setting them 3 in. deep and 3–4 in. apart. Provide regular moisture during growth and bloom. In areas with summer rainfall, grow them in pots to keep them dry. Dig and divide plantings of all species only when plant vigor and bloom quality decline.

Ornithogalum umbellatum

From the eastern Mediterranean. Stems to 1 ft. tall bear clusters of 1-in. white flowers striped green on the outside. Semierect, grassy-looking leaves are about as long as the flower stems. Cut flowers last well but close at night. Once established, may naturalize and become weedy.

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