Apr. 13, 2022

star-of-Bethlehem, Ornithogalum nutans

Star-of-Bethlehem has white-striped leaves very much like crocus. I first saw this plant in a local woodlot, just the leaves, and guessed it was crocus. Then it bloomed. So I brought some of this back to my garden, and have been chasing it around my lawn ever since. Ornithogalum is toxic, but has been a famine food for millenia. Legend had it that the star-of-Bethlehem fell to earth and shattered, leaving us these sparkles. On the other hand, this is called dove's dung in the Bible. The Book describes it being sold as food during a famine. Have to be awful hungry to go to the market and bring home dove's dung for dinner! These plants originated in southern Europe and northwest Africa, and now grow in AL, AR, CA, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, BC, NB, NF, NS, ON, and QC. Lenawee Co MI, 5/24/11. Hyacinth family, Hyacinthaceae.