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Lubera stops plant deliveries to the UK
Due to Brexit, we are not able to deliver to the UK. We are working on a solution on how we can continue to bring a wide range of Lubera plants to the UK and directly to our customers' homes in the future. However, such a solution will not be available before 2022 or 2023.

Star-of-Bethlehem - Ornithogalum

 Ornithogalum Star-of-Bethlehem flower Lubera

The Star of Bethlehem flower (Ornithogalum) decorates beds, flower boxes and containers and is the ideal partner for all spring-flowering plants in May. It is planted in autumn and blooms the following May.


More information about the Star of Bethlehem flower


Ornithogalum (Star of Bethlehem flower) brings elegance and lightness to the spring garden with its delicate blossoms that are reminiscent of small stars. In the Lubera shop, you will find three hardy bulb varieties that can transform your garden into a sea of flowers next spring.



Buy Star of Bethlehem flowers - the varieties in the Lubera Shop

  • Ornithogalum nutans, the nodding star flower
  • Ornithogalum ponticum 'Sochi
  • Ornitoghalum umbellatum

The translation of the botanical name Ornithogalum means something like bird's milk. It refers to the white milky sap that escapes when the stems and leaves are bent or damaged. This also reveals the one disadvantage that these plants have, namely their toxicity. If this doesn't scare you (and if you don't have children in the household), you'll enjoy these blooms in your garden for years to come because the plants will run wild, forming their own offset bulbs, and quickly cover entire garden areas, e.g. under bushes, trees or in corners that are otherwise somewhat neglected. 



  • White, star-shaped blossoms enchant the May garden with grace and elegance
  • Like to run wild and provide for years of pleasure without further intervention
  • Add tulips and daffodils in May to the colour white


The differences between the three varieties in the Lubera shop


Ornitholagum nutans:

The nodding Star of Bethlehem flower is long-lived and very vigorous. Five to twelve individual flowers form loose umbels that stand above narrow, grass-like leaves. Each of the white petals has a pale green central stripe on the outside. The flowers have a very slight scent. It blooms from April to May and grows to a height of about 25-30 cm.


Ornithogalum ponticum 'Sochi':

This is a newer variety, originally from the Caucasus and named after the city on the Black Sea where the 2014 Winter Olympics were held. This Star of Bethlehem flower is very hardy and develops very well in a sunny spot in the garden. It also has a delicate green stripe on the outside of the flowers and blooms from the end of May. The first flowers grow to a height of about 40 cm. In the course of three weeks, new flower stems appear all the time, which can later grow up to 75 cm high. These are very suitable for pruning (don't forget your gloves because of the milky sap when picking!)


Ornithoghalum umbellatum:

A mass-flowering plant, which at 25 cm remains quite small and flowers relatively late from May to June. This variety is the real 'Star of Bethlehem flower', precisely because it has been on the market the longest. The first bulbs were brought to Europe in 1595 from the eastern Mediterranean region, where they continued to multiply diligently, especially in the wine-growing climate. Numerous, white flowers are arranged in loose pseudo umbels and open at midday.




The flower bulbs on offer in the Lubera shop belong to the hardy part of the family and should be planted in the ground in late summer or autumn. The bulbs are planted 10 cm deep, while the distance from bulb to bulb is 10-20 cm, as this perennial plant need this relatively large distance to sprout well. 


Location, soil and maintenance


All Ornithogalum varieties need little care and like to grow in the sun or in light partial shade. The soil should be rather dry and permeable. If the soil is permanently wet, especially in the winter, the bulbs could rot in heavy, compacted soil. Avoid waterlogging by incorporating sand, compost or a planting soil such as Lubera ‘Fruitful Soil No. 2’ when planting. They grow well in a rock garden or even in a location under bushes, where they quickly provide a white carpet of flowers, as they multiply via daughter bulbs and also self-seeding. Too large clumps can be divided after a few years.


Planting in a pot


Star of Bethlehem flower bulbs can also be planted in containers that can stand outside during the winter. However, the pot should be placed somewhat protected against too much rain. To fill the containers, please make sure you use good potting soil. These soils, like the Lubera ‘Fruitful Soil No. 1’, contain expanded clay granules or other additives that ensure good drainage. Like almost all bulbous plants, these are not very demanding in terms of care. They only need to be watered occasionally during the growth phase in the event of prolonged drought. If you repot annually, they do not need any fertiliser.


Growth and appearance


These are perennial, herbaceous bulbous flowers with grass-like leaves, sometimes with a silvery central band. On a long stem, 15-70 cm high depending on the variety, there are numerous, star-shaped, white flowers arranged in clusters.




Ornithogalum belongs to the asparagus family and these plants are native to various countries. They are found in Europe, Africa, Madagascar and Western Asia. Most species are found in southern and tropical Africa, as well as in the Middle East and Asia.


Are they poisonous?


Yes, the plant is poisonous in all parts. If small children play in the garden, it is better to use other spring-flowering plants because the milky sap can cause rashes on the skin and mucous membranes. The bulbs themselves can even lead to cardiac arrhythmia if accidentally consumed.


Diseases and pests in Ornithogalum


By and large, these are quite robust plants and therefore have little or no disease. From time to time it happens that the bulbs do not sprout, unfortunately, we do not know the reasons for this yet. If they are planted in too wet places, they can die because of the winter wetness.

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