Help me identify this small white flower

Reading throught this thread concernting Star of Bethlehem, I got to wondering if a small flower which appears in our fields is the same plant. I don’t think it is, but I also don’t know what it is.

Here is a photo of a typical clump. The flowers themeselves are about the width of my fingertip.

The plants are very plentiful at this time of year, but disappear later as the weather gets hot. The tall grass which will become hay eventually shades them out, I suppose.

I’m going to go with stargrass. Not a color match, but maybe there are enough variations in the wild and yours are a regional color?

Don’t know nuthin’ 'bout flowers.

Yup, looks like good ol’ S-o-B as far as I can tell. Does it correspond to this description?

Not quite. This plant is smaller than what is described there: the clumps are about 4" across, rather than one foot across; the stalks are closer to 4" than 6"; the flowers are not 1" across (the specimen I picked today has flowers approximately 0.7" across). It does have six petals and six stamens.

My hubby remembers always seeing it blooming in the spring. They used to run a dairy farm here and the cows were permitted to eat them.

SeaDragonTatoo, the shape of the flowers is similar but the leaves are not taller than the flower stem.

I don’t believe they are Star of Bethlehem.

I’m doing a quick guess of some type of narcissus. The structures of the plants look like paper white narcissus.

I see there are more variations in Star of Bethlehem than I thought. I did eventually find the structure I thought disqualified it as such. I never found a matching picture for the flowers though.

Have you ever pulled one up, and found a sort of bulb? My dad used to pull up flowers like these, and there would be a slender bulb at the root, something like a green onion. He’d wash the bulbs and eat them, raw. He doesn’t do much outside walking these days, so he probably doesn’t do that any longer. I’ve always been under the impression that they’re some sort of allium, though.

If it smells like onion then it’s not Star of Bethlehem.

I’d say a member of the allium family based on the appearance of the unopened flower buds, but I’m guessing. I don’t think the structure of the open flowers much resembles the pics of SoB you linked (imho)

Dug a clump up - they do have some tiny bulbs, but no onion smell. HD, it also reminds me of paperwhites but there’s no trumpet-shaped part in the center of the flower.

The S o B descriptions all talk about a slender thread structure which is triangular in cross-section under the pistil. These are so tiny that I can’t see that - maybe I’ll take one to work and look at it under the magnifier.

They also lack the green stripe on the back of the petals which is apparently a hallmark of S o B.

Seeing as how my daughter presented me with a tiny fist of these last week, I sent your url to a local site my nurseryman frequents.

He calls them “wild onion”, which a google confirms to be…

Thanks lieu!

I figured they were some kind of native wildflower, from hubby’s testimony about them being on the farm back in the 50’s. These must be very mild if they let the milk cows eat them.

Well, NinetyWt, he’s done some more research, thinks wild onion usually has a little pink to it and advises this is actually Crow Poison (Nothoscordum bivalve). I’ve looked at both in google images and part of the problem appears to be they’re so similar sometimes they’re misidentified. See what you think since you’ve got an upclose view.

Finally I had time to double-check. Yes, that looks very much like it! Thank you lieu. Thank your friend for me too.

Interesting name (and history).


Now we have an answer. It is a very pretty flower, and I had to keep returning to see what it was.

In a perfect world, you could come see it in person, when you get tired of the cold weather up there. :slight_smile:

Cool! (It’s AKA “false garlic”, apparently.) So Ninety, are you finding lots of dead crows in that field? :stuck_out_tongue: (Seriously, it’s said that the Cherokee made a poison out of it which they put into crow bait: voila, no more crows eating the corn crop.)