Star of Bethlehem


1 entry found.
Picture of Star of Bethlehem Star of Bethlehem
Common Name: Star of Bethlehem, Arabian Star Flower
Botanical Name: Ornithogalum umbellatum (or-ni-THOG-a-lum um-bel-LA-tum)
Decorative Life: Up to 2 weeks in water alone.
Post Harvest Care:
  • Recut stems under water and place into a fresh flower food solution or plain tap water containing bleach (6-8 drops per quart) as fresh flower foods are not necessary, buds continue to open in water alone.
  • Flower stem bending when placed horizontal (geotropism) is a problem with all members of this genus. Applying calcium chelators such as EDTA and/or using one of the anti-ethylene action products (MCP of STS) can reduce this bending. To the contrary, ethylene synthesis inhibitors such as AOA or AVG had no effect on bending.
Family Roots:
  • Member of the Liliaceae (lily family).
  • Native to North Africa, Middle East.
  • Common relatives include onion, alstroemeria, hyacinth, asparagus and tulip.
Personality:
  • 6-20 star-like flowers, 1-1.5 inch across, in loose clusters at stem ends.
  • Stems leafless, 12-32 inches long.
  • Plant is a herbaceous perennial from a bulb, classed as a monocotyledon, leaves mostly parallel veined. The vareity "Corymbosum" is usually applied to ones that have more and larger flowers.
  • Flowers are fragrant.
Availability: Most times of the year.
Flower Color: White with green outside stripe.
Storage Specifics: 40 F, 4-6 weeks dry in boxes.
Tidbits:
  • From the Greek "ornis" (a bird) and "gala" (milk), probably alluding to the egg-like color of the flowers of some species. The specific epithet name "arabicum" means of Arabia, most likely because of its origin.
  • Bends upwards when flower stems are placed horizontal, it is therefore classified as being geotropic. In this regard it is similar to gladioli and snapdragons.
  • With over 3000 species, the lily family includes many medicinal and food species in addition to ornamental species.