Yellow Star of Bethlehem
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Yellow Star of Bethlehem
ative Photo: Aarti Khale
Common name: Yellow Star of Bethlehem
Botanical name: Gagea lutea    Family: Liliaceae (Lily family)
Synonyms: Gagea indica, Gagea lowariensis, Gagea fascicularis

Yellow Star of Bethlehem is a delicate bulbous plant, with grass-like leaves, and with small yellow star-shaped flowers which are greenish or reddish-brown on the outside of the petals. Flower-cluster-stalk is 4-8 cm long. Basal leaf is single, flat, longer than the inflorescence, 7-14 mm wide, elongated-elliptic, faintly longitudinally furrowed at the base. Leaves on flower-cluster-stalk alternate, lower almost equal to inflorescence, 9-15 mm wide, widely-elliptic, gradually narrowed in 2-3 mm long apical cusp, upper leaf smaller, linear. Inflorescence is shortly branched, flowers on long flower-stalks. Tepals are 1.0-1.6 cm long, 3-4 mm broad, inverted-lanceshaped, rounded, yellow, outside greenish-purple, elongating and pointed at anthesis, after flowering longitudinally rolled up. Anthers are yellow, oblong. Ovary is obovate, on a short stipe. Stem is 5-13 cm. Capsule is up to 3 times shorter than the flower, three-rayed, inverted-pyramidal, stipe short. Yellow Star of Bethlehem is found in Europe, Afghanistan to the Himalayas, and in Japan and Korea. Flowering: April-June.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Doodhpathri, Kashmir.

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