Weed of the Month — Star of Bethlehem

Star of Bethlehem is a cool season, perennial weed of the lily family that grows from a bulb. It is often misidentified as a grass, wild garlic, or wild onion. Star-of-Bethlehem has been sold as an ornamental and has escaped to become a weed of landscapes, pastures, hayfields, turfgrass, and lawns. Leaves are narrow with a pale green-to-whitish stripe near the mid-rib. Flowers are showy, with six white petals sporting a noticeable greenish stripe down the middle of the back. Flowering usually occurs from April to May. The plant dies back to the bulb shortly after flowering. Reproduction occurs from bulbs, which grow in clumps and are subtended with a fibrous root system.

Star-of-Bethlehem contains cardiotoxins and glycosides that are toxic to horses. The entire plant contains these toxins, but the bulbs and flowers contain the highest concentrations.

Controlling Star-of-Bethlehem is difficult. Extremely low mowing (two inches or less) will reduce flower production, but is not effective in killing the plant since it reproduces from bulbs. TDI uses one of the only herbicides known to truly eradicate this pesky weed.

If you are seeing weeds in your lawn contact TDI for a service call to have your technician come and resolve the weeds.