Additional notes (click to expand)

Other use

Ornithogalum umbellatum L. Hyacinthaceae, Star of Bethlehem, Grass lily. Distribution: Central Europe, SW Asia, NW Africa. All parts are poisonous, especially the bulbs. The toxin is a cardiac glycoside with effects similar to digoxin, vomiting, cardiac irregularities and death in humans and livestock. Only used for decoration by Native Americans (it is a non-native plant that has escaped into the wild from cultivation) and called Sleepydick (Moerman, 1998). One of its toxins is Convallotoxin, also present in Lily of the Valley, Convallaria majalis.
Oakeley, Dr. Henry F. (2013). Wellcome Library notes. link


Toxic due to cardiac glycosides.
Professor Anthony Dayan, 2022

Geographical distribution

  • Africa, Northern Africa, Algeria
  • Africa, Northern Africa, Morocco
  • Asia-Temperate, Western Asia, Cyprus
  • Asia-Temperate, Western Asia, Turkey
  • Europe, Eastern Europe, Ukraine
  • Europe, Middle Europe, Austria
  • Europe, Middle Europe, Belgium
  • Europe, Middle Europe, Hungary
  • Europe, Middle Europe, Netherlands
  • Europe, Middle Europe, Switzerland
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Albania
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Bulgaria
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Greece
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Italy
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Romania
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Yugoslavia
  • Europe, Southwestern Europe, France
  • Europe, Southwestern Europe, Portugal
  • Europe, Southwestern Europe, Spain

Ornithogalum umbellatum L.

Genus: Ornithogalum
Species: umbellatum L.
Common names: Common Star of Bethlehem; Dove's Dung
Distribution summary: Europe to Mediterranean
Habit: Perennial
Hardiness: H5 - Hardy; cold winter
Habitat: Rocky slopes, scrub & light woodland
Garden status: Currently grown
Garden location: Classical Europe & Middle East (M), Poisons garden (PETO), Plants of the World (C)
Flowering months: April, May
Reason for growing: Other use, toxic

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