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sar of Bethlehem plant

Posted by justmejackie z8TX (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 6, 05 at 18:09

Has anyone ever heard of this plant...a friend gave it to me and it is a succulent with a really strange flower. The flowers smell very bad and attract flies. It is quite the conversation piece but I am wondering if that is really the name of it? The Star Of Bethlehem? The flower is a large star about 4 inches and is lights colored with red veins. Just curious.


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RE: sar of Bethlehem plant

  • Posted by Josh z8a AL (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 10, 05 at 0:41

Sounds like a Stapelia. As a new gardener I gladly accepted one as a "gift"... and promptly passed it on to another friend when it bloomed. That poor plant is probably still being passed on to innocent souls today! The bloom is strangely beautiful though.josh


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RE: sar of Bethlehem plant

I grow Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum) -of the lily family.
It is an early summer or late spring flowering bulb. Grows a clump of thin waxy dark green leaves w/ a thin pale green midrib.
It then puts on flowers, after which it dies back. Bulbs reproduce very fast. The flowers are 6 petaled white stars with green stripe on the back side of each petal. Really showy. Very pretty. All parts are said to be toxic, but not known to cause death.

Here is a link that might be useful: Image of Star of Bethlehem


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RE: sar of Bethlehem plant

From your description, Josh is right. The common name I know is carrion flower. Like SweetAnnie4u, I know the Orinthogalums as Star of Bethlehem.


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RE: sar of Bethlehem plant

thanks you all...I know mine is the carrion. An interesting and unusual but stinky plant from south Africa. Thanks for helping me figure it out.


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RE: sar of Bethlehem plant

I read somewhere there are over a thousand plants known as Star of Bethlehem somewhere (common names tend to be regional.) Yours sounds like Stapelia gigantea; mine is about to bloom. There are a number of stapeliads, all weird and fascinating--and I assume stinky!


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