YELLOW STAR-OF-BETHLEHEM

GAGEA

Gagea lutea

Lily Family [Liliaceae]

month8feb month8mar month8march month8apr month8april month8may

status
statusZnative
 
flower
flower8yellow
 
inner
inner8orange
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ6
tepals
stem
stem8round
 
toxicity
toxicityZmedium
 
contact
contactZlowish
 
rarity
rarityZuncommon
 
sex
sexZbisexual
 

7th March 2016, Coates Tunnel Inn, Gloucestershire. Photo: © Mike Baldwin
A low growing plant with stems to 25cm high and yellow flowers.


7th March 2016, Coates Tunnel Inn, Gloucestershire. Photo: © Mike Baldwin
The yellow flowers are on longish stalks which are not in umbels, although on some specimens the stems emerge from nearly the same place - it is therefore sub-umbellate.
Bearing in mind that there are usually only between 1 to 5 flowers per plant, there may be several plants in close proximity here.


7th March 2016, Coates Tunnel Inn, Gloucestershire. Photo: © Mike Baldwin
The 6 tepals form a trumpet usually not opening wider than about 80° (although the tips of the tepals may curl backwards on fully opened flowers). Here there is just one plant - having between 1 to 5 flowers.

The leaves beneath the inflorescence taper to a blunt tip.



7th March 2016, Coates Tunnel Inn, Gloucestershire. Photo: © Mike Baldwin
Each plant has between 2 to 3 leaf-like bracts.


Unknown Date, Unknown Place Photo: © John Phandaal Law


7th March 2016, Coates Tunnel Inn, Gloucestershire. Photo: © Mike Baldwin
There is usually just one basal leaf and that is between 15 to 45cm long and between 7 to 15mm wide. Perhaps that is it going from bottom left to top right.


7th March 2016, Coates Tunnel Inn, Gloucestershire. Photo: © Mike Baldwin
The tepals are lanceolate and between 10 to 18mm long.


7th March 2016, Coates Tunnel Inn, Gloucestershire. Photo: © Mike Baldwin
The upper surface of the tepals is usually bright yellow, although sometimes there are tinges of green at their tips. The 6 filaments are long and bear frizzy yellow anthers. In the centre is a pale-green cylindrical style bearing a similarly coloured and similarly longstyle at the top.


7th March 2016, Coates Tunnel Inn, Gloucestershire. Photo: © Mike Baldwin
Here the rear of the tepals are green to yellow. This specimen has hardly opened.


7th March 2016, Coates Tunnel Inn, Gloucestershire. Photo: © Mike Baldwin
The single leaf emerging from the base is fluted for stiffness, which even then often curl over 180°. The numerous leaves here may mean that they are from several close-together plants.


7th March 2016, Coates Tunnel Inn, Gloucestershire. Photo: © Mike Baldwin
The upper leaves taper to a blunt tip, often with a bit of a snout as here.


No relation to : Star-of-Persia (Allium cristophii), Star Sedge (Carex echinata), Yellow Star-Thistle (Centaurea solstitialis), Starwort Mouse-ear (Cerastium cerastoides), Starfruit (Damasonium alisma), Starry Stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa), Starry Stonecrop (Sedum stellatum) nor with Spring Starflower (Tristagma uniflorum), [plants with similar names belonging to differing families].

The similar but very rare [RRR] Early Star-of-Bethlehem (Gagea bohemica) somewhat unusually has two bulbs at the base and subsequently 2 leaves at the base (rather than just one bulb and one leaf for Yellow Star-of-Bethlehem). This too has yellow flowers and moreover they are of a similar size. But with the plant standing at just 4cm high, Early Star-of-Bethlehem is much shorter than Yellow Star-of-Bethlehem.

Snowdon Lily (Gagea serotina) [formerly Lloydia serotina] now belongs to the same genus but has white flowers and therefore could not possibly be mistaken for either of these yellow-coloured Star-of-Bethlehems unless you were colour blind.


  Gagea lutea  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Liliaceae  

Distribution
 family8Lily family8Liliaceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Gagea
Gagea
(Star-of-Bethlehems)

YELLOW STAR-OF-BETHLEHEM

GAGEA

Gagea lutea

Lily Family [Liliaceae]