Ornithogalum narbonense - Narbonne Star-of-Bethlehem

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Asparagales - Family: Asparagaceae

Ornithogalum narbonense

Tall and stately compared with many other Ornithogalum species, this fairly common wildflower of southern Europe is not easily overlooked. Even in shaded locations, its flowers shine out like stars in the night sky.


Emerging from white buklbs and usually growing to a height of 30 to 50cm (occasionally to 70cm), the plants' erect stems are topped by pyramidal inflorescensces. The leaves are fleshy and lanceolate,

Closuo of flower of Ornithogalum narbonense

The flowers,of Ornithogalum narbonense, Narbonne Star-of-Bethlehem, are white, each having six petals with pale green central stripes. The white filaments and bright yellow stamens are equally striking.


The lovely Narbonne Star-of-Bethleham grows throughout the Mediterranean region.


This lovely wildflower is a common sight on roadside verges, on abandonded farmland and in olive groves and other grassy places.

Flowering times

The flowers of Ornithagalum narbonense can usually be seen from March until the end of May,

Closeup iof flowers, Ornithogalum narbonense

The specimens shown on this page were photographed in southern France and in the Algarve in southern Portugal in April and May.


The genus name Ornithogalum comes from Greek and means 'bird's milk', while the specific epithet narbonense refers to the city of Narbonne, in southern France.

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