Star of Bethlehem flower

Star of Bethlehem makes small white flowers and it is knows especially for its Biblical sense. It is also known as ‘Arabian Star Flower’, ‘Wonder Flower’, etc. because it presents a long shelf life, this flower is also called the “florist nightmare”.

Its botanical name is Ornithogalum umbellatum. Read the following lines to find out more about Star of Bethlehem flower.

Flower Bulb

 The bulb of the Star of Bethlehem can spread very quickly if you let it and cover the entire garden. It belongs to the family of winter lily. Native to Mediterranean areas, the blooms of Star of Bethlehem have the size of the thumb, naked and colored in white. During winter, they send tufts of green leaves to grow. He leaves look like grass and are marked by a white line down the midrib. The flower bulb is quite large and can develop several offsets. The clumps of this flower look like garlic clumps. If you crush the bulbs of this flower, you will see the difference between the flower and garlic. The flower does not have any odor as compared  garlic. The arching leaves of the Star of Bethlehem are also different from the garlic’s leaves. During summer, the bulbs go dormant and the leaves of Star of Bethlehem die.
The blooming period is in early May or late April.  A multi-flowered spike appears in the blooming season measuring ten inches. Every spike is made of twelve to thirty-six petals. A broad band of green can be found at the back part of the petals. Star of Bethlehem flowers close in the evening and open in the morning.

How to take care of Star of Bethlehem

Star of Bethlehem thrives in areas with full or partially sunlight. If planted in a too shady place the flower will produce fewer blooms and it will grow slower. Never water the plant too much; regular watering is required. Star of Bethlehem does not need special care; a soil with a good drainage is all it needs. If you want to propagate the plant, you have to divide the bulbs. Plant the flowers five or six inches one from each other. They can be used as flower gardens and for container gardening.

Make sure you do not allow this flower to spread excessively; otherwise, it will cover the whole garden. Star of Bethlehem spreads very easy, suffocating other flowers and plants in your garden. However, if this occurs, you have to get the bulbs out of the soil because herbicides are inoffensive for this flower. The bulbs and foliage of Star of Bethlehem are toxic due to the alkaloid content. So, make sure you plant them away from animals and livestock.
Care after harvest

 After you cut the flowers from your garden, you need to cut the stems again under water if you bring them inside the house. Put the flowers in tap water mixed with bleach. To one quart of water you have to add six, seven or eight bleach drops. The stems of these flowers tend to bend. This is why you need to apply EDTA, a calcium chelator or to utilize action products. This way the stems will not bend too much.
Meaning of Star of Bethlehem

This flower is also called Ornithogalum and chincherinchee. The term Ornithogalum comes from the Greek dictionary and it is formed from “ornithos”, meaning bird and “gala”, meaning milk. The “bird milk” was used to describe incredible things. The English name ‘chincherinchee’ comes from the South African ‘tjenkenrientjee’. Star of Bethlehem has also religious meaning and refers to the birth of Jesus Christ. Star of Bethlehem was the star that led the Wise Men to the place where Christ was born. This flower also symbolizes reconciliation, atonement and purity.

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