Height 15-30cm (6-12in)
Planting distance 10cm (4in)
Flowers mid to late spring
Sun or partial shade
Bulbs available in autumn
Ornithogalum umbellatum is hardy and free-flowering. It is a small plant, up to 30cm (12in) high, with glistening white, star-shapedthat produce a fine show in mid and late spring. Its one disadvantage is that the flowers open flat only when the sun is out. Any fertile well-drained soil is suitable, and it tolerates partial shade, although a sunny position is preferable. Narrow borders, short grass and rockeries all make good sites.
Plant in mid autumn, setting the bulbs 5cm (2in) deep and 10cm (4in) apart in irregular groups. Dead-head regularly.
Left alone, star-of-Bethlehem self-seeds and colonizes readily. Crowded clumps can be lifted, divided and replanted in late summer.
Pests and diseases