Star of Bethlehem Flower: Its Meanings & Symbolism

Star of Bethlehem Flowers

The Star of Bethlehem plant is a spring and summer blooming bulb that produces star-shaped flowers on grass-like foliage. Native to the Mediterranean region, the Stars of Bethlehem flower grows wild across the countryside, blanketing the area with white. While they can be grown in flower beds, they are invasive and will quickly take over the bed. If you choose to grow your own Star of Bethlehem flowers, try growing them in containers to keep them under control.

What Does the Star of Bethlehem Flower Mean?

The Star of Bethlehem flower is associated with the birth of Christ and symbolizes the traits of Jesus.

  • Innocence
  • Purity
  • Honesty
  • Hope
  • Forgiveness

It is often used in religious ceremonies as a symbol of the Christ Child, but it can be used for other occasions, too.

Etymological Meaning of the Star of Bethlehem Flower

The Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum) is a member of the hyacinthaceae family and is related to garlic and onions. It has several common names, such as Arabian flowers, field onions, wonder flowers, and dove’s dung.

  • Origin of its Scientific Name: It is thought to be the flower bulbs referred to as “Dove’s Dung” in the Bible and to have derived its name from the Greek word ornithogalum meaning “bird’s milk flower”. But its common name has another intriguing origin.
  • Legend of the Star of Bethlehem Flower: According to this legend, God created the Star of Bethlehem to guide the wise men to the Christ Child. Once the star’s purpose was completed, God thought it was too beautiful to banish from the earth. Instead, the brilliant star burst into thousands of pieces and descended to the earth. The bits of the Star of Bethlehem gave birth to beautiful white flowers that blanketed the hillsides. They became known as the Star of Bethlehem flower.

Symbolism of the Star of Bethlehem Flower

The Star of Bethlehem flower is steeped in Christian symbolism, from its supposed Biblical reference to the Christian legend that gave it its name. It is often used in floral bouquets and arrangements for Christian ceremonies, such as christenings, baptisms and Christian marriages or funeral services. But it is used in secular weddings and celebrations too.

Star of Bethlehem Flowers

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Star of Bethlehem Flower Color Meanings

The Star of Bethlehem flower meaning comes both from its religious significance and the meaning of all white flowers. As a white flower it means:

  • Purity
  • Innocence
  • Truth
  • Honesty

Meaningful Botanical Characteristics of the Star of Bethlehem Flower

Historically, the bulbs of the Star of Bethlehem flower have been boiled and eaten much like potatoes and continue to be eaten in some locations. The ancients ate Star of Bethlehem bulbs raw or cooked and even dried them to eat on pilgrimages and journeys. According to Web MD, the Star of Bethlehem has reportedly been used to relieve lung congestion, improve heart function and as a diuretic, but there is not enough scientific evidence to support these claims.

Special Occasions for the Star of Bethlehem Flowers

The Star of Bethlehem flower is appropriate in nearly any floral arrangement from weddings and christenings to birthdays and anniversaries.

The Star of Bethlehem Flower’s Message Is…

The Star of Bethlehem flower’s message carries with it hope for the future, innocence, purity, trust and honesty making it an ideal flower for adding to wedding décor and bridal bouquets.

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Star of Bethlehem flower

Star-of-Bethlehem flower

Star-of-Bethlehem flower

Star-of-Bethlehem flower