Saturday, November 12, 2005


This is my first Christmas post...sort of: the genus (not genius!...well actually, now I mention it...) of the title refers to the "star-of-Bethlehem", in botany it is a low, spring-blooming bulbous plant of the family Liliceae; there are numerous members of the genus, of which Ornithogalum umbellatum is the best known, the Lily favourites...YES! - what's wrong with guys liking flowers! - they are native to the Mediterranean region but naturalized in North America and cultivated in gardens.

The plant has rather stiff*, grasslike leaves and a cluster of white star-shaped flowers marked on the back with green; it spreads easily but also tends to become weedy. Although the fresh plant is poisonous (as is often the case with things of beauty) the bulbs have been prepared and used as food in the Old World. The Christmas connection (the name star-of-Bethlehem) is because the flower has been associated with the star that guided the Wise Men to the manger. It is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Liliopsida, order Liliales, family Liliaceae.

* stiff eh?...despite this O. umbellatum is often known as Sleepydick!!!! knew there had to be a reason I was posting this didn't you!


Gavin Corder said...

For a moment there I thought you were about to clean up your act and we'd all be subjected to another dose of Yeast in Horse Nutrition or worse still letters to the gasman in Spanish!

Thank goodness for the cunningly disguised smutty reference. Keep it up! And the posting.

Span Ows said...

Well, there's no need to be vulgar Gavin...oh, 'cunningly', sorry misread you.

Speaking of which, you may like the following obbligato post.

Gavin Corder said...

Pay attention Span! I told YOU all about cunning and quaint!

Span Ows said...

Yes, my teachers used to be always on about my attention span...oh,I see!

Gavin Corder said...

Vulgar, moi? Of the people and by the people me mate...vulgate but never vulgar and always in the vernacular. Don't you just love the lingua franca?

Pay attention Span!

Span Ows said...


Kayfer Kettle said...


I do love a lily Span....Oo er!

And I like a mna that likes flowers too. There is nowt wrong with that.

After all, me are meant to be THE great admirers of beauty, are they not?

Lena x

Kayfer Kettle said...

Er, that should have read 'men'!

L x

Span Ows said...

Thank you Lena, very civil of you, I do like a good strool around a nice garden.

by the your middle line it should read 'man'...tut tut...have you been on the pop!...or does the thought of man (or men!!) send you all a quiver!