Star-of-bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum
) is a bulbous plant belonging to the lily family. It is a popular cultivated flower which are often sold as cut flowers or ornamental garden flowers. In the United States, they have escaped cultivation and now grow naturally in the wild in many areas. O. umbellatum
have onion-like bulbs, grass-like leaves, and produce clusters of small white to green colored flowers.
contains a substance having an action very similar, if not identical with that of the glycosides of foxglove
. All parts of O. umbellatum
are highly toxic to poultry, due to the presence of convallatoxin and convalloside, which are cardioactive steroids that affect the heart. Chickens need only to ingest a single flower head for it to be lethal.