Gagea fragifera (Vill.) E. Bayer & G. López

star-of-Bethlehem

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Star-of-Bethlehem is a Eurasian species that is very rarely found in North America, having been collected only in Vermont.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats)

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
Vermont
Leaf arrangement
  • basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
  • opposite: there are two leaves per node along the stem
Leaf blade shape
  • the leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
  • the leaf blade is linear (very narrow with more or less parallel sides)
Leaf blade length
70–200 mm
Flower petal color
  • green to brown
  • yellow
Flower petal length
10–20 mm
Petal fusion
the perianth parts are separate
Inflorescence type
the inflorescence is an umbel (with an axis so short it appears the flowers all originate from the same point)
Ovary position
the ovary is above the point of petal and/or sepal attachment
Fruit type (specific)
the fruit is a capsule (splits along two or more seams, apical teeth or pores when dry, to release two or more seeds)
Fruit length
At least 15 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Anther attachment
    the anther is attached by its base to the filament
    Anther color
    the anthers show no hint of a pink, reddish or purplish tint
    Bulblets replace flowers
    there are no bulblets where the flowers are located
    Carpels fused
    the carpels are fused (the number of carpels equals the number of locules)
    Flower bracts
    there are bracts associated with the flower
    Flower number
    3–5
    Flower orientation
    the flowers point upward or spread or curve outward
    Flower petal color
    • green to brown
    • yellow
    Flower petal length
    10–20 mm
    Flower shape
    • the flower has a tube-shaped corolla
    • the flower is bell-shaped
    • the flower is flattened or platter-shaped
    Flower symmetry
    there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
    Form of style
    the style is lobed at the tip, and unbranched
    Fringed petal edges
    the petals are not fringed
    Hairs on flower stalk
    the flower stalk has hairs on it
    Inflorescence hair glands
    the axis of the inflorescence has hairs entirely without glands
    Inflorescence type
    the inflorescence is an umbel (with an axis so short it appears the flowers all originate from the same point)
    Marks on petals
    there are no noticeable marks on the petals
    Nectar spur
    the flower has no nectar spurs
    Number of carpels
    3
    Number of pistils
    1
    Number of sepals and/or petals
    there are six petals, sepals or tepals in the flower
    Number of styles
    1
    Ovary position
    the ovary is above the point of petal and/or sepal attachment
    Petal and sepal arrangement
    the flower includes two cycles of petal- or sepal-like structures
    Petal appearance
    the petals are thin and delicate, and pigmented (colored other than green or brown)
    Petal base
    the petal narrows gradually or does not narrow at the base
    Petal fusion
    the perianth parts are separate
    Petal hairs on inner/upper surface
    there are no hairs on the inner/upper petal surface
    Sepal appearance
    the sepals resemble petals in color and texture
    Sepal length
    10–20 mm
    Sepal orientation
    the sepals are slightly curved outwards from the plant
    Sepals fused only to sepals
    the sepals are separate from one another
    Spathe
    the plant does not have a spathe
    Spathe form
    NA
    Spathe length
    0 mm
    Stamen number
    6
    Stamen position relative to petals
    NA
    Stamen types
    • the stamens within a cycle are all similar
    • the stamens within a cycle are distinctly of two types
    Stamens fused
    the stamens are not fused to one another
    Stamens fused outwards
    the stamens are fused to the petals or tepals at or near their bases
    Style petal-like
    the style is not broad and flattened like a petal
    Tepals
    the petals and sepals are similar in size and color
  • Fruits or seeds
    Berry color
    NA
    Fruit compartments
    there are three locules in the fruit
    Fruit cross-section
    the fruit is roughly triangular in cross-section
    Fruit length
    At least 15 mm
    Fruit type (general)
    the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe
    Fruit type (specific)
    the fruit is a capsule (splits along two or more seams, apical teeth or pores when dry, to release two or more seeds)
    Other markings on berry
    NA
  • Glands or sap
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
  • Growth form
    Lifespan
    the plant lives more than two years
    Underground organs
    the plant has one or more swollen storage organs underground, such as bulbs, tubers or corms
  • Leaves
    Hairs on underside of leaf blade
    the underside of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Hairs on upper side of leaf blade
    the upper side of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Leaf arrangement
    • basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
    • opposite: there are two leaves per node along the stem
    Leaf blade basal lobes
    the leaf blades do not have basal lobes
    Leaf blade base
    the leaf has no stalk
    Leaf blade base shape
    the base of the leaf blade is cuneate (wedge-shaped, tapers to the base with relatively straight, converging edges), or narrow
    Leaf blade cross-section
    the leaf blade is round or semicircular
    Leaf blade faces
    both surfaces of the leaf blade are exposed
    Leaf blade form
    Fully-formed (i.e., expanded), +/- green leaf blades are found somewhere on the plant
    Leaf blade length
    70–200 mm
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is linear (very narrow with more or less parallel sides)
    Leaf blade surface colors
    the upper side of the leaf blade is relatively uniform in color
    Leaf blade tip
    the tip of the leaf blade is acuminate (tapers to a long, thin point)
    Leaf blade veins
    the lateral veins are parallel or slightly arched in the direction of the tip
    Leaf blade width
    3–4 mm
    Leaf stalk length
    0 mm
    Leaf type
    the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets
    Leaflet number
    0
    Stipule twining
    NA
    Stipules
    there are no stipules on this plant
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    Vermont
    Specific habitat
    man-made or disturbed habitats
  • Scent
    Plant odor
    the leaves have no particular smell
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Flowering stem growth form
    the flowering stem is held upright
    Flowering stem leaves
    there is at least one fully-formed leaf on the flowering stem
    Stem hairs
    the stem is nearly or completely hairless

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
absent
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
absent
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

None

Native to North America?

No

Sometimes Confused With

Hypoxis hirsuta:
ovary inferior, tepals mostly 6-10 mm long, and leaf blades +/- flat, not hollow (vs. G. fragifera, with the ovary superior, tepals 10-20 mm long, and leaf blades semicircular, hollow).

Synonyms

  • Gagea fistulosa (Ram. ex DC.) Ker-Gawl.
  • Gagea liotardii Sternb.
  • Ornigthogalum fistulosum Ram. ex DC., nom. illeg.
  • Ornigthogalum fragiferum Vill.

Family

Liliaceae

Genus

Gagea

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Gagea fragifera (Vill.) E. Bayer & G. López E

star-of-Bethlehem. Gagea fistulosa (Ram. ex DC.) Ker-Gawl.; G. liotardii Sternb.; Ornigthogalum fistulosum Ram. ex DC., nom. illeg.; O. fragiferum Vill. • VT. Waste areas. 
The often used name for this species, Gagea fistulosa, is an illegitimate name (Bayer 
and López González 1989).