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Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia genus Fact Sheet

Family: Liliaceae
Ornithogalum

Citation: L., Sp. Pl. 306 (1753).

Derivation: Greek ornithos, a bird; gala, milk; application of the ancient Greek name unknown.

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Stars of Bethlehem.

Description:
Rootstock a bulb; leaves all basal, flat, channelled, linear or lanceolate.

Flowers white or greenish, in a raceme terminating the leafless stem or scape which is 20-60 cm high; each pedicel with a conspicuous bract at the base; perianth persistent, the 6 segments free or almost so, oblong or lanceolate, flat, equal; stamens 6, the filaments flat, the 3 opposite the inner segments sometimes abruptly dilated into a membranous base; anthers versatile; style short, undivided; ovary 3-celled, with many ovules in each cell.

Capsule ovoid, angular, with several black subglobular seeds. (Clapham, Turin & Warburg (1962) Flora of the Brilish Isles).

Distribution:  About 150 species in Europe, Asia and Africa.

Biology: No text

Key to Species:
1. Perianth-segments more than 2 cm long
 
2. Flowers 6-15; all filaments linear-lanceolate
O. arabicum 1.
2. Flowers 20-70; alternate filaments square towards the base
O. thyrsoides 3.
1. Perianth-segments less than 2 cm long
 
3. Inflorescence corymbose, 5-15-flowered
O. umbellatum 4.
3. Inflorescence narrow and elongate, more than 20-flowered
O. pyrenaicum 2.

Author: Not yet available


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