This native from Africa, Europe and west Asia is called the Star of Bethlehem because it grows abundantly throughout the Holy Land. The botanical name, “Ornithagalum,” is derived from the Greek words for bird, ornis and milk, gala. The bulb of this plant was valued in times of famine because it was dug up, dried, roasted and was eaten. In Italy, the bulbs are still eaten like chestnuts after roasting, but they are poisonous when ingested raw. To me, this flower has an art deco feel and would make a statement in a cosmopolitan setting.

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