Ornithogalum umbellatum ssp campestre Asparagaceae Star of Bethlehem

Ornthogalum angustifolium 39kb

Description - Flowers are born on a short, branched stem, often half-hidden in the surrounding vegetation, as seen in the photo above. Before they open, the green sepals with white edges are very obvious. Leaves are long and narrow, with a white stripe down the centre, very similar to the leaves of the Crocus.

Habitat - Likes poor, sandy soil, and has mainly been recorded in the north of the island. Sometimes occurs where soil has been disturbed.

Comment - Our naturalised plants probably originate from garden escapes, but they persist for many years at some sites. In Guernsey another plant is often called Star of Bethlehem, this is Allium neapolitanum, which was grown for the cut-flower trade, and has also naturalised on hedge banks. This has a round umbel of flowers; larger, broader leaves, and is a much taller plant.

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