Dormancy

    Star of Bethlehem

    Ornithogalum umbellatum

    Star of Bethlehem

    Star of Bethlehem growth habit (Richard Gardner, UMES, Bugwood.org)

    Star of Bethlehem

    Star of Bethlehem flowers (Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org)

    Star of Bethlehem

    Star of Bethlehem bulbs (Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org)

    Description

    • plant with long, slender, smooth, fleshy, hollow, dark green leaves; leaves resemble chives
    • produces white bulbs buried deep in the soil profile
    • flower stalks are 6 – 9 inches tall, leafless and smooth
    • delicate white flowers are star shaped with six petals and yellow/green centers; blooms measure 1 inch in diameter; petals are oval-shaped with pointed tips; petal undersides have a wide green stripe running down the middle

    Location

    • commonly grows in lawn areas and planting beds

    Life Cycle

    • a bulb-forming perennial with leaves that emerge by mid-spring and flower production by late spring
    • blooms last about 2 weeks; flowers open on sunny mornings and close by sunset
    • after seedset, foliage dies back to the bulb by mid-summer

    IPM Recommendations

    • Carefully dig out and remove bulbs and bulblets from planting beds.
    • Apply an appropriate post-emergent herbicide directly to target weeds.
    • Apply herbicide to foliage in early spring when temperatures are at least 50°F and again in the fall for at least 2 consecutive years.