Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Shooting Stars


Ornithogalum arabicuim 

Sitting high atop a long, leafless stem, the umbrella like cluster of small, waxy white flowers of the Ornithogalum arabicuim or Star of Bethlehem as it is more commonly known, are exotic to be sure. But are they pretty? The jury is out and I can't decide. 

I have grown Star of Bethlehem in my garden, but the flowers photographed here, I purchased at the very last Farmers Market of the season.

Here they are growing in the field at Butt's Berry & Flower Farm near Rockwood Ontario.


The tight cluster of unopened flowers.


These Star of Bethlehem flowers were grown from large bulbs that resemble celery root in size and appearance. Not hardy here in Southern Ontario, they must be lifted from the garden and stored overwinter.


Florists love them because they make good, long-lived cut flowers. What do you think? Is it pretty enough to grow in your garden?


13 comments:

  1. All flowers possess some level of beauty to me but I have never grown these in my garden. I've read that some varieties are poisonous. Again, my space is so limited that I'm pretty selective as to what is planted. It would be nice to have space to try out so much more because I have no idea what I'm missing! Enjoy your day!

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  2. You have captured the essence of these flowers. I use them often in flower arrangements . . . they last for weeks! I use locally grown ones but voles would not let me grow them. ;>)

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  3. You are right, I have seen them at the florist, expensive!

    I am so bad at lifting bulbs, but it might be worth it to grow them for those lovely flowers.

    Eileen

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  4. I think they are very pretty - I like the contrasting dark center. I've never grown them, and I could see why florists would like them too. very different!

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  5. Those are really cute! I like how different they are. I'll have to keep my eye out for them. Great pictures, as usual!! :0)

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  6. These are sweet looking little flowers. I think they would be worth the effort of lifting and storing overwinter. If you decide you don't like them you can always forget to bring them in.

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  7. I like them, They look like a little cluster of fireworks. And if they are good cutting flowers i think they are great

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  8. I wonder, do you like the South African species growing wild in the fields?

    http://elephantseyegarden.blogspot.com/2009/10/chincherinchees.html

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  9. They are so very pretty. And look great in the garden. Down here they self seed everywhere in the lawn but then quickly disappear when the hot weather comes in. I love their starry faces.

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  10. Thanks everyone for your great comments.

    Diana (Elephant's Eye), I think that the South African species looks wonderful growing wild in the field.

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  11. A beautiful bulb, Jennifer. And loved your Halloween post!

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  12. I have been trying to eradicate in my garden what I believed was the Star of Bethlehem, but they don't look the same. I wonder if there are different varieties. Mine have long slender foliage and one or two single flowers per plant/bulb. They spread like wildfire.

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  13. Patty,
    There is also an invasive species also called Star of Bethlehem. It is a big problem in the States and from your comment, is also a problem in Canadian gardens as well.

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