Bird spotting with Ornithogalum

The name of this bulb flower is a real mouthful, but the flower itself is amazingly slender and elegant. Let’s meet the Ornithogalum, commonly known as the Star-of-Bethlehem.

Ornithogalum | funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk

Colours and shapes

There are many different varieties of Ornithogalum. Ornithogalum arabicum and Ornithogalum saundersiae have compact white flowers. Ornithogalum thyrsoides also has white flowers, but the spray of flowers is pyramid shaped. Ornithogalum dubium is just a bit different and has orange or yellow flowers.


The symbolic meaning of Ornithogalum is purity. Who would you give a bunch of purity to?


Most Ornithogalum varieties grow wild in southern Europe, South Africa and Asia. The name Ornithogalum has been created from the Greek ornis or ornithos (bird) and galum (milk). Why the flower got this name is still a blooming mystery.