Ornithogalum (or-ni-THOG-a-lum) is a bulb flower native to Europe, Africa and western Asia. Although Star of Bethlehem is the common name of this genus, various species have different common names that are specific to them.
Ornithogalum is a member of the Hyacinthaceae (hyacinth) family.
Close relatives include hyacinths, grape hyacinths (Muscari), pineapple
lily (Eucomis) and squill (Scilla).
Four species of Ornithogalum are regularly grown as cut flowers: Chincherinchee, Yellow Chincherinchee, Giant Chincherinchee and the more commonly known Star of Bethlehem.
Star of Bethlehem flowers feature long brilliant green stems, on top of which rests a conical spike with 12 – 18 clusters of small, white star-shaped blooms. Each flower measures approximately 2.5cm across.
These blooms open slowly and it is normal for several of these blooms to remain closed.
Care & Handling
- Remove any leaves that will be immersed in water.
- Cut the bottom 1/2 inch off each stem at an angle using a sharp knife. (Do not use scissors as they can crush flower stems and prevent proper hydration, thus shortening the life of the flower.)
- Make sure to use a clean vase.
- Mix one liter of lukewarm water with the package of Grower Direct Fresh Cut Flower Food (provided with your flowers)
- Be sure to measure carefully when adding food into the water as the proper quantities both feed the flower and inhibit bacteria growth.
- Do not place flowers near heat (ie. Refrigerator or television), extreme cold, drafts, smoke fumes or in direct sunlight.
- Water quality makes a big difference. Do not use softened water as it may reduce the life of the flowers. Use regular drinking water and if the water becomes cloudy, change it, add additional flower food and re-cut the flowers.
- Star of Bethlehem dresses up wedding bouquets, table centerpieces and flower arrangements.
- Extraordinarily long vase life makes these distinctive flowers a favourite.