by Stephen Mifsud
   6 Jun 2020      ()
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Ornithogalum narbonense   (Southern Star of Bethlehem)

Ornithogalum narbonense   (ASPARAGACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands at or after year 2000.

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Profile Date May-2006 (last update: 12-Jan-2019)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (May-2006) Ornithogalum narbonense retrieved from on 2020-Jun-06

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Ornithogalum narbonense L.
Published in L., Cent. Pl. 2: 15 (1756)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

No Main Synonyms
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life ]

Plant Family :

Asparagaceae Juss. (=Liliaceae) (The Asparagus Family)
32 species from the Asparagaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Southern Star of Bethlehem

Maltese name(s) :

Ħalib it-tajr żgħir

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common     Frequent     Scarce     Rare     Very rare     Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: GEOPHYTE (bearing underground bulbs, rhizomes, stolons, etc.)
Germination [info]: Monocotyledon

Legal Protection [link]:

Protected by law: schedule VIII of legal notice LN311/2006. (Exploitation subject to management measures)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :


Colour of Flowers:


Species Description and Distribution

Habitat in Europe:

Grassland, roadsides and disturbed ground.

Preferred habitat in Malta:

Rocky areas especially near arable land.

Botanical Description:

Plant (20-)30-50(-80) cm. Leaves 4-6 (-7), 8-16 mm wide, persistent until after anthesis. Bracts shorter or longer than pedicels. Flowers scentless. Perianth-segments 12-16 mm, lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, patent, remaining flat, milky-white, with a ribbon-shaped green stripe on the back throughout their length. Anthers yellow. Ovary 3.5-5 mm, ovoid, truncate at apex. Style (3.7-)4.2-5.5 mm, as long as or longer than ovary, filiform throughout. Flowering May-July.

Chromosome number:


Distributional range:

S. Europe.

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):

Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):

Albania, the Balaeric Islands, Bulgaria, Corse, Crete, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Greece, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Portugal, Doubtful in Romania, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta, Turkey (European part)

Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(Euro+Med Checklist, 2017) - Country codes

AE(G) Ag Al Bl Bu Co Cr Cy Eg Ga Gr Hs IJ It Ju Li LS Lu Ma Rm Sa Si Tcs Tn Tu(A E) [Ca]

Images (8 images)
   Ornithogalum narbonense   -   Image Code: ORGNB-0.
   Ornithogalum narbonense   -   Image Code: ORGNB-1.
   Ornithogalum narbonense   -   Image Code: ORGNB-2.
   Ornithogalum narbonense   -   Image Code: ORGNB-3.
   Ornithogalum narbonense   -   Image Code: ORGNB-4.
   Ornithogalum narbonense   -   Image Code: ORGNB-5.
   Ornithogalum narbonense   -   Image Code: ORGNB-6.
   Ornithogalum narbonense   -   Image Code: ORGNB-7.

Links & Further info

Google Web

Google Images

Yahoo Web

Yahoo Images




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



The Plant List


Vienna Virt. Hb.





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