Plants of the Week - 12/23/17


Just for this weekend, I have chosen a plant of the week whose name is perfect…Ornithogalum umbellatum, or more commonly known as ‘Star of Bethlehem’.  Now, before you run out to get this beautiful flowering bulb, or before you start throwing red flags because you ‘once’ had Star of Bethlehem growing in your beds, let me explain.  First, you have to admit; perfect named flower for the Christmas weekend, right?  And it is a lower growing beautiful white flower that really makes a statement in the spring and sometimes early summer.  And it’s very easy to grow…yes, sometimes too easy as it takes over the bed you planted it in, as well as the lawn next to it.  Totally understand; been there done that, and still helping gardeners get rid of it where they don’t want it.  But in the right location (contained area) or in planters, this bulb really is a wonderful little bloomer.  Did I say planter?  YES, it can be grown in containers, and now being sold is mixed flower baskets as a gift!

 

The bulbs (belongs to the Lily family) are planted in the fall (full to mostly sunny area), with garlic like foliage appearing in spring followed by the Star of Bethlehem flower. The foliage eventually dies back, and stays dormant until the next season.  Again, it can be invasive (listed as a noxious weed in a few states), so plant in contained garden areas, containers, or used as a floral arrangement with other bulbs, and then discarded after flowering.  But how could I pass up naming Star of Bethlehem as our plant of the week?  (ps…the flowers are used in religious ceremonies.  Legend has it that after the Star of Bethlehem’s purpose of guiding the wise men to the Christ Child was complete, God thought it was too beautiful to banish, so he had it burst into thousands of pieces, which descended to earth, giving birth to beautiful white flowers that blanketed the hillsides.)


Ron Wilson

Ron Wilson

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