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Overview

Brief Summary

History in the United States

Also called drooping star-of-Bethlehem, this species was introduced for ornamental purposes and is widely cultivated. A diminutive close relative (O. umbellatum), known as sleepydick, nap-at-noon, and common star-of-Bethlehem, is native to northern Africa, western Asia and Europe, and was also introduced as an ornamental plant. It has been reported to be invasive in the mid-Atlantic, Northeast and elsewhere.

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Drooping star-of-Bethlehem is an exotic plant. Its origin lies in western Turkey, Bulgara and eastern Greece. It is a typical stinsen plant and arrived on Texel when snowdrops were imported from France. Stinzen plants are (often wild) bulbous plants which were first planted long ago by Frisian (stinzen) and Groningen (borgen) estates, country houses and castles. Contrary to the indigenous Star-of-Bethlehem, the drooping star-of-Bethlehem can reproduce via seed as well as bulbs.
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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Distribution and Habitat in the United States

Nodding star-of-Bethlehem occurs in scattered locations in the Midwest, Great Lakes, Northeast and mid-Atlantic and has been reported to be invasive in Maryland and Pennsylvania. It is adapted to floodplains, fields, waste places, abandoned gardens and grows in full sun to partial shade. Sleepydick is more widespread and has been reported to be invasive in at least 10 states from Wisconsin to Connecticut south to Tennessee and Virginia.

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Origin

Europe (Ukraine, Bulgaria and Greece) and Asia (Turkey)

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introduced; Ont.; Conn., Del., D.C., Ill., Md., Mich., Mo., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Oreg., Pa., Va., W.Va.; Europe; sw Asia; expected elsewhere.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description and Biology

  • Plant: bulbous herbaceous annual to 20 in. in height (nodding star-of-Bethlehem) or 12 in. (sleepydick).
  • Leaves: basal, linear, narrow, and succulent with parallel veins, 0.3-0.6 in. wide (nodding); grasslike and less than ¼ in. wide (sleepydick).
  • Flowers, fruits and seeds: flower is a “perianth” consisting of 6 petal-like structures called tepals that are white with a wide central green stripe on the outer or underside; flowers occur in racemes; fruits are 3-angled-capsules which are broadly ovoid.
  • Spreads: by bulbils and seeds.
  • Look-alikes: other spring-flowering herbaceous bulbous plants.

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Description

Plants (15–)30–50(–60) cm; bulbs progressively renewed over 3–4 years, 2–3 × 2.5–3.5 cm; bulblets numerous. Leaves (3–)4–6; blade with white adaxial stripe, 30–60 cm × (3–)5–10(–15) mm. Scape 2–5 dm. Inflorescences racemose, 5–12(–18)-flowered, cylindrical; bracts 3–4 cm. Flowers nodding, especially after anthesis; perianth campanulate; tepals white with wide green abaxial stripe, lanceolate, 20–30 × 9–12 mm, outer 3 slightly gibbous at base, inner 3 slightly wider; stamens: outer 6–8 × 3–4 mm, inner 13–15 × 4–5 mm; filaments 3-dentate, flattened; anthers 3–4 mm; ovary ovoid to subglobose, slightly 6-angled, 5–6 mm; style 5–6 mm; lower pedicels to 1 cm. Capsules broadly ovoid. 2n = 45.
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Ecology

Habitat

Fields, waste places, abandoned gardens; 0--1500m.
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering spring.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Honorius nutans

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Honorius nutans

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Management

Prevention and Control

Be on the lookout for it and dig it up as soon as it is noticed. Most of the time, the bulbs will be extremely deep.

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These species are introduced in Switzerland.
  • Aeschimann, D. & C. Heitz. 2005. Synonymie-Index der Schweizer Flora und der angrenzenden Gebiete (SISF). 2te Auflage. Documenta Floristicae Helvetiae N° 2. Genève.   http://www.crsf.ch/ External link.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Risks

Ecological Threat in the United States

Once established, it spreads across the forest floor and displaces many species of native spring ephemeral plants.

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Wikipedia

Ornithogalum nutans

Ornithogalum nutans is a species of star of Bethlehem. It is cultivated, and has naturalized, outside its native range, for example in North America.[1][2] At least in North America, it is not as common as Ornithogalum umbellatum.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b "Ornithogalum nutans Linnaeus". Flora of North America. http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=242101812. 
  2. ^ "Ornithogalum nutans Linnaeus". Flora of Missouri. http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=11&taxon_id=242101812. 


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Notes

Comments

Though widely cultivated and naturalized, Ornithogalum nutans is not as common as O. umbellatum.
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