Herb: Star Of Bethlehem

Latin name: Ornithogalum narbonense

Synonyms: Ornithogalum arcuatum, Ornithogalum pyramidale narbonense

Family: Liliaceae (Lily Family)

Edible parts of Star Of Bethlehem:

Bulb. No further details are given, though it is probably cooked before being eaten. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Description of the plant:


40 cm
(1 foot)

to June

Habitat of the herb:

Grassy places and waste ground.

Propagation of Star Of Bethlehem:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Sow the seed thinly and leave the seedlings undisturbed in the pots for their first dormancy, but apply liquid feed at intervals, especially in their second year of growth. Divide the bulbs at the end of their second year of growth, putting 2 - 3 bulbs in each pot. Grow them on for one more year and them plant them out into their permanent positions whilst they are dormant. The seed can also be sown in a cold frame in early spring. Division of offsets in September/October. The larger bulbs can be replanted immediately into their permanent positions. It is best to pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on for a year before planting them out when dormant in late summer.

Cultivation of the herb:

Grassy places and waste ground.

Medicinal use of Star Of Bethlehem:

None known

Known hazards of Ornithogalum narbonense:

Although no specific mention of this plant as being toxic has been seen, it belongs to a family where there are some species that are said to be toxic. Caution should be observed. Any toxins are likely to be concentrated in the bulb.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.