Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A plant of the genus Ornithogalum, particularly O. umbellatum: so called from its starlike flowers, which are pure-white within. This species is native from France and the Netherlands to the Caucasus; it is common in gardens and often runs wild, in some parts of America too freely. In Palestine its bulbs are cooked and eaten, and they are thought by some to have been the “dove's dung” of 2 Kings vi. 25. Some other species are desirable hardy garden-bulbs, as O. nutans and O. Narbonense (O. pyramidale), the latter 3 feet high with a pyramidal cluster. O. caudatum, with long leaves drying like tails at the end, and with watery-looking bulbs, is a species from the Cape of Good Hope, sometimes called
onion-lily, remarkably tenacious of life except in cold. It has a flower-scape 2 or 3 feet high, and continues blooming a long time.
- n. One of a few plants of other genera, as Stellaria Holostea and Hypericum calycinum.
- n. See also Hypoxis and Gagea.
- n. In Australia, a plant of the lily family, Chamæscilla corymbosa.
- n. In Tasmania, Reya umbellata, an ornamental liliaceous plant having greenish-white flowers.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Bot.) a bulbous liliaceous plant (Ornithogalum umbellatum) having a small white starlike flower.
- n. any of several perennial plants of the genus Ornithogalum native to the Mediterranean and having star-shaped flowers
“This lovely wildflower is known as star-of-bethlehem.”
“It's right by there that the star-of-bethlehem flowers are blooming.”
“In a similar manner young slender roots well anchored in the soil, at or near the close of the growing season, pull downward and outward large numbers of bulblets that form around a parent bulb of some kinds of leeks, tulips, star-of-bethlehem, globe hyacinth, and monkshood.”
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