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  2. Saturday, 16 April 2016
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Joyce Elsner
Is the sun star poisonous?
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The genus Ornithogalum is called sun star or wonder star, and yields over 120 different species of flowers, mostly originating in South Africa and the Mediterranean. Ornithogalum is a member of the Hyacinthaceae or hyacinth family. Something to keep in mind is that the bulbs of Ornithogalum plants are poisonous, and should not be mistakenly planted in place of the similar-looking wild garlic.

Ornithogalum umbellatum

Star-of-Bethlehem is the common name of Ornithogalum umbellatum, which some now call a weed because it grows commonly in the north American landscape. It is native to the Mediterranean basin. Star-of-Bethlehem reproduces from bulbs and exhibits pretty, star-like, six-petal white flowers that appear at the ends of leafless, flowering stems. The plant also has shiny green leaves that are fairly long, usually between 4 and 12 inches. At first glance, it is easy to confuse the leaves of the Star-of-Bethlehem with the leaves of the wild garlic plant, as many people do. However, Star-of-Bethlehem leaves have a silvery-white median stripe marking that distinguishes them.
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