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Home / Private Collections / Starz / Science / Plants / UK Wild Flowers / Wild Plants - May / Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum)
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Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum)


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This plant has a delicate flower consisting of white three white petals and three white sepals; they have a green stripe down the back. It has long narrow leaves. It was thought to be a symbol of purity. It was named because it was thought to look like the star of Bethlehem and because it is a common plant in Palestine. Its flowers close up in the afternoon or earlier if the sky is overcast. The roots were once mixed with honey and eaten but the raw bulbs are poisonous to cattle. It may have been native to parts of East Anglia but is now widely naturalized, especially in this area. The plant grows in grassy places and flowers April - June. Picture taken May 2nd Maulden, Bedfordshire.

2nd May 2006 by Diane Earl

Biology, Science

Key Stages:
Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

plant flower wildlife legend

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