One of the spring bulb plants, star of Bethlehem isn't nearly as well known as some of the others in the group. Even non-landscaping enthusiasts know all about daffodils and tulips. Most people have some idea of what a crocus or a hyacinth is. When we range over to springtime standouts such as squill and snowdrops, we tread upon territory where many folks have never ventured -- but mentioning these names may elicit at least some flicker of a response.
With star of Bethlehem, however, we take our horticultural esotericism to a whole other level. Especially if we mention the botanical name, Ornithogalum umbellatum. Let that imposing Latin moniker roll off your tongue, and your interlocutor may well think that you're talking about some kind of bird! A very similar plant is mountain star of Bethlehem, Ornithogalum montanum.
Photo ©2012 David Beaulieu, Landscaping Guide (licensed to About, Inc.)