History in the United States
Distribution and Habitat in the United States
Localities documented in Tropicos sources
United States (North America)
Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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.
Ditylenchus dipsaci infects and damages live, soft or necrotic bulb of Ornithogalum
Foodplant / pathogen
Hyacinth Mosaic virus infects and damages live, light and dark green blotched peduncle of Ornithogalum
Foodplant / pathogen
Ornithogalum Mosaic virus infects and damages live, light and dark green blotched peduncle of Ornithogalum
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage
|Specimen Records:||115||Public Records:||92|
|Specimens with Sequences:||104||Public Species:||46|
|Specimens with Barcodes:||104||Public BINs:||0|
|Species With Barcodes:||48|
Locations of barcode samples
Prevention and Control
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Ecological Threat in the United States
Ornithogalum is a genus of perennial plants mostly native to southern Europe and southern Africa belonging to the family Hyacinthaceae. There are some species native to other areas such as the Caucasus. Growing from a bulb, it has grass-like basal leaves and a slender stalk, up to 30 cm tall, bearing clusters of star-shaped white flowers striped with green. There are about 150 species, of which the best known are O. umbellatum, O. saundersii, O. arabicum and O. thyrsoides. 
- O. arabicum (Star-of-Bethlehem)
- O. dubium (Sun Star)
- O. longibracteatum (Pregnant Onion/False Sea Onion)
- O. maculatum (Snake Flower)
- O. narbonense (Pyramidal Star-of-Bethlehem)
- O. nutans (Drooping Star-of-Bethlehem)
- O. pyrenaicum (Bath Asparagus/Prussian Asparagus/Spiked Star-of-Bethlehem)
- O. umbellatum (Common Star-of-Bethlehem)
- O. thyroides (Chincherinchee)
Other species of Ornithogalum include:
- O. britteniae
- O. neurostegium
- O. canadense
- O. clanwilliamae-gloria
- O. conicum
- O. cooperi
- O. flaccidum
- O. fragrans
- O. graminifolium
- O. imbricatum
- O. saundersii Giant chincherinchee
- O. strictum
Some of the plants in the genus are poisonous, and have been known to kill grazing animals. Others are edible and used as vegetables. These flowers' bulbs contain alkaloids and cardenolides, which are toxic.
- ^ a b "Ornithogalum Linnaeus". Flora of North America. http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=123199.
- ^ "Ornithogalum L.". Ornamental Plants From Russia And Adjacent States Of The Former Soviet Union. http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=120&taxon_id=123199.
- ^ International Flower Bulb Centre: Ornithogalum
- ^ AP Dold (2003). "The rediscovery of Ornithogalum britteniae (Hyacinthaceae) and an amendment to the description". South African Journal of Botany 69 (4): 500–504. http://www.ajol.info/viewarticle.php?id=12306&jid=118&layout=abstract