The Q&A Archives: What is this plant?

Question: I recently bought a

Answer: Star of Bethlehem is a member of the lily family. The genus Ornithogalum includes about 150 species, both hardy and tender. Ornithogalums are trouble-free, grow in any soil and naturalize easily.

Blooming in March and April the flowers are borne on spikes in groups of 3-12, with each flower having six separate, spreading petals. The nodding, fragrant, star-shaped flowers have soft jade-green colored bands on the outside and are white on the inside.

These beautiful flowers make an excellent, long-lasting cut flower and are much appreciated for unusual floral arrangements. Leaves are borne at the base of the plant, and are as long as the flower stalks.

Landscape uses include: borders, beds with other bulbous or perennial plants, and rock gardens. Nodding Stars of Bethlehem can be left undisturbed for many years in the garden, and are particularly suitable for naturalizing. This species prefers a wooded environment.

They will grow in ordinary garden soil in full sun to part shade. The plants grow 12-16 inches tall and the bulbs should be planted about 4 inches deep. they are hardy in zones 6-10 so yours will be best grown in pots indoors during the winter months and outdoors in spring and summer.


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