Ornithogalum magnum
Common Name: Star of Bethlehem 
Type: Bulb
Family: Asparagaceae
Native Range: Caucasus
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer


Easily grown in moist, fertile, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Thrives in sandy loams with some tolerance for dry soils once established. Propagate by digging bulbs, removing the offsets and replanting. Self-sown seedlings may appear. This plant is a very modest spreader in the garden. It lacks the invasive weed-like character of some members of the species such as O. umbellatum.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Ornithogalum magnum, commonly known as star of Bethlehem, is a bulbous perennial that is native to the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia. It typically grows to 1-2' tall (occasionally taller). Numerous, tiny, star-like flowers bloom in late spring to early summer in huge pyramidal upright racemes. Flowers in each raceme open from bottom to top. Each small flower has six white petal-like tepals with showy yellow anthers. Each tepal has a green stripe on the reverse. Linear, grass-like leaves (to 18") emerge in a basal clump in spring, but begin to disappear shortly before the flowers bloom.

Genus name comes from the Greek words ornis meaning a bird and gala meaning milk for the white flowers.

Specific epithet means great or big.


No serious insect or disease problems. Bulb rot may occur in poorly drained soils.


Naturalize in grass, shrub borders, meadows, woodland margins and wild areas.