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Star of Bethlehem is a winter bulb of the lily family native to the Mediterranean region. From thumb-sized white, naked bulbs, it begins sending up tufts of bright green leaves in late winter. Each grass-like leaf is marked with a white line down the midrib. Large bulbs produce many offsets so the clumps of foliage may be 6 inches across. The clumps of foliage somewhat resemble wild garlic except star of Bethlehem has no odor when the foliage is crushed. Also, garlic foliage tends to grow straight up while this species has arching leaves. Both stand out vividly in late winter against the beige backdrop of zoysiagrass or bermudagrass lawns. The leaves die as summer arrives and the bulbs go dormant. In late April or early May, it sends up a 10-inch tall multi-flowered spike bearing from 12 to 30 white, six-petaled star-like blooms. The backsides of the petals are marked with a broad band of green. The flowers open in the morning and close each evening. Seed production is uncommon so most spread is by means of the small, abundantly produced bulblets. These get scattered about by tilling the soil, transplanting neighboring plants or during any digging operation in the garden.
Found growing wild in my yard.
Spotted on May 4, 2018
Submitted on May 4, 2018