Ornithogalum umbellatum, commonly known as 'Star of Bethlehem', is a bulbous perennial . Narrow, semi-erect, grass-like, linear leaves grow in a basal clump to 6-12" tall. Leaves begin to droop and fade as the flower stems (6-8") rise in late spring to early summer, each stem bearing 10-20 starry white flowers (each to 3/4" wide) in an open, umbel-like, terminal cluster. Flowers are striped green on the outside. Flowers open near noon and close at sunset or in cloudy weather.
It prefers a sunny postion in a well mulched, well drained soil. They can also be grown in position that gets light, dappled shade. Fertilise with a liquid fertiliser through the growing season. After flowering, the foliage should be left until the plant dies down, as this feeds the next years growth. The plant will die down to ground level in late autumn to winter, and reshoot in spring. They can be left in the ground over winter.
Flower borders and beds
All parts of the plant are poisonous, and contact with the sap may cause skin rashes. Ideal for naturalising but may become invasive
The general rule of thumb for planting spring bulbs is to plant two to three times as deep as the bulbs is tall. This means most large bulbs like tulips or daffodils will be planted about 8 inches deep while smaller bulbs will be planted 3-4 inches deep. Planting depth is measured from the bottom of the bulb.
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