Ornithogalum montanum, Mountain Star-of-Bethlehem,
Hebrew: נץ-חלב הררי, Arabic: صاصل جبلي

Scientific name:  Ornithogalum montanum Cyr.
Common name:  Mountain Star-of-Bethlehem
Hebrew name:  נץ-חלב הררי
Arabic name:  صاصل جبلي
Family:  Liliaceae, שושניים

Israel, Häufige Wildblumen, Bilder von Wildblumen
Location: Carmel, Muhraka


Life form:  Geophyte
Leaves:  Rosette, entire
Flowers:  White
Flowering Period:   January, February, December
Habitat:  Batha, Phrygana
Distribution:  Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands, Semi-steppe shrublands, Montane vegetation of Mt. Hermon
Chorotype:   Med - Irano-Turanian
Summer shedding:  Ephemeral

Ornithogalum montanum, Mountain Star-of-Bethlehem, נץ-חלב הררי


Derivation of the botanical name:
Ornithogalum, ornis ορνισ, ιϑοϛ , a bird, ornith pertaining to birds;galum, milk.
Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778) says, that the roots of this plant are the Dove's dung (seed pods), which was sold so dear during the siege of Samaria, (II Kings 6:25); "which interpretation appears highly probable from the obvious identity of the name ornithogalum (Bird's-milk), and which was applied to this plant by many of the ancient writers, as Dioscorides, Pliny, &c.,and from the circumstance that they are, when boiled, eaten at the present day by the poorer inhabitants of Palestine, where grows in abundance; whence its English name Star of Bethlehem."
Montanum, pertaining to the mountains.
  • The standard author abbreviation Cirillo is used to indicate Domenico Cirillo (1739 – 1799), an Italian physician.
Ornithogalum montanum is a Mediterranean species dwelling in arid and stony grassland, superficially similar to Ornithogalum umbellatum. It differs in the wide leaves, which lay to the ground, without any silver median stripe.