Plant ID forum: Trying to identify this plant

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Name: Elaine
Pennsylvania (Zone 5a)
beardies
May 21, 2016 7:32 PM CST
Took this photo the other day of this small, white flower. I assume it's a bulb. There was no foliage, but a main stem with branches and the flowers. Located in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Thumb of 2016-05-22/beardies/ff81d3

Elaine
Name: Scott
Tampa FL
Tropicals Region: Florida Enjoys or suffers hot summers
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ScotTi
May 21, 2016 8:32 PM CST
I remember them being called 'Star Of Bethlehem' when I lived in VA.
Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
Charter ATP Member Organic Gardener Garden Photography Bee Lover Dragonflies Cat Lover
Butterflies Birds Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Spiders!
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JRsbugs
May 21, 2016 8:40 PM CST
Welcome!

It looks like Ornithogalum umbellatum but I'm puzzled as to why there are no leaves. Could they have been pulled off?

http://www.brickfieldspark.org/data/starofbethlehem.htm
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin
hampartsum
May 22, 2016 8:32 AM CST
Hi, I'm sure that it is a Ornithogallum, however the lack of leaves makes me wonder whether it is O.umbellatum. Searching a bit through different dbases, including my Willis dictionary of flowering plants, there seem to be as many as 150 species from the Old world. RHS has 183 entries. So perhaps it is one very simmilar to O.u. but flowers when leaves die out. I remember last summer that a small group of my O.u. did flower after the leaves yellowed so I even cannot discard this species as well. Somehow the umbell in this pic is much more open than my O.u.s and the flower stalk is longer and sturdier.
Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
Charter ATP Member Organic Gardener Garden Photography Bee Lover Dragonflies Cat Lover
Butterflies Birds Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Spiders!
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JRsbugs
May 22, 2016 8:56 AM CST
O. umbellatum is more widely sold. I checked mine from when I first had it in a pot in 2010, there wasn't many leaves showing but they do look strong. I blew the ID photo up, the flower form looks correct as well as the branching and green backs to the petals.

Thumb of 2016-05-22/JRsbugs/84b9ed

Thumb of 2016-05-22/JRsbugs/5ea538 Thumb of 2016-05-22/JRsbugs/ba4328

In 2012 in a flower bed. some leaves are visible which look to be dying back, this was on 14th May but I haven't seen them flowering yet this year, I haven't seen leaves growing either so they might have 'disappeared'.

Thumb of 2016-05-22/JRsbugs/93f87e Thumb of 2016-05-22/JRsbugs/7be842

Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin
hampartsum
May 22, 2016 9:06 AM CST
Hi Janet. I agree with your first bet. I would guess that it is highly probable that it is O.umbellatum. Apparently it can become an invasive weed if left unchecked in Eastern US.
Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
Charter ATP Member Organic Gardener Garden Photography Bee Lover Dragonflies Cat Lover
Butterflies Birds Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Spiders!
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JRsbugs
May 22, 2016 9:14 AM CST
Hi Arturo. Smiling

I looked for mine and they are no longer there, they were growing well last year so I'm wondering what happened to them. We have a bulb fly, Merodon equestris which naturally lays it's eggs in bulbs with the larvae eating them, I don't know if they eat these. There is another fly we have, Eumerus sp. which is much smaller and is called the Onion Bulb Fly. It could be either, or both of them.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
May 22, 2016 9:21 AM CST
There's a picture here of O. angustifolium flowering without leaves, which, according to the Catalogue of Life, is a synonym for O. umbellatum:

http://www.luontoportti.com/suomi/en/kukkakasvit/star-of-bet...

This picture from the NGA database shows it without leaves but doesn't say if they were removed or not.

[Last edited by sooby - May 22, 2016 9:22 AM (+)]
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Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
Charter ATP Member Organic Gardener Garden Photography Bee Lover Dragonflies Cat Lover
Butterflies Birds Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Spiders!
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JRsbugs
May 22, 2016 9:32 AM CST
To complicate matters, Ornithogalum angustifolium is a synonym of two different species.

http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/search?q=Ornithogalum+ang...

It does look like the leaves can die off completely by the time flowers appear. Dead or dying leaves can be seen in your link Sue. It probably depends on the climate.

Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
May 22, 2016 9:55 AM CST
O. graminifolium is the synonym in CoL. It said for that O. angustifolium was an illegal name so I disregarded it. In the ID plant there are what could be dead leaves also - I can't see the base of most of the flowering stems in the original post, not sure if that's an iPad thing or not, so there could be more dead leaves off the bottom of the picture.
Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
Charter ATP Member Organic Gardener Garden Photography Bee Lover Dragonflies Cat Lover
Butterflies Birds Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Spiders!
Image
JRsbugs
May 22, 2016 10:46 AM CST
I thought I could see dead leaves on the ground too.

It does seem that location and climate will make the difference as to how soon leaves die back.
Name: Charlotte
Salt Lake City, Utah (Zone 6b)
genealogist specializing in French
Irises Region: Utah Hostas Bulbs
cbunny41
May 28, 2016 5:06 PM CST
@beardies

This is almost impossible to kill and hard to remove by digging. It spreads mostly by seed. I understand there is a new chemical that is effective. Two years ago I had maybe five flowers. I have dug and dug where I could and removed many bulbs, but some is in between iris I am not ready to dig. In the same area saw at least 20 flower spikes this year..

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