Star of Bethlehem Flower Meaning and Symbolism

The star of Bethlehem flower is a pretty bloom that hails from parts of Southern Europe as well as South Africa. This plant is grown across many parts of the world for its beauty.

It’s grown as a companion plant as well as an ornamental, and in some places, it is used as a cut flower.

But what does a star of Bethlehem flower mean? Let’s take a look at everything you should know about this plant.

At A Glance: The Star Of Bethlehem Flower

The star of Bethlehem flower is a winter-flowering bulb that belongs to the asparagus plant family. You’d be right in thinking that the flowers look similar to garlic – as the plants are related.

Technically, the name star of Bethlehem applies to a whole group of plants, all within the Ornithogalum genus. 

The name of the genus comes from Greek, meaning ‘bird’s milk’, referring to the soft shade of white which this flower brings into any garden or vase. 

Most species get to around 30cm tall, producing clumps of usually white starry flowers, but they may be striped with green, too. It can also bloom in orange, but this isn’t as common as the white flowers.

It’s worth knowing that these plants are invasive in many areas. This doesn’t matter in the cut flower market of course, but you do have to be careful to do your research if you would like it in your garden. 

Their ability to naturalize is very strong, so these bulbs can threaten native species if planted in the wrong area.

What Does The Star Of Bethlehem Flower Mean?

The star of Bethlehem flower gets its name from its star-shape and bright white petals, and it’s often associated with the birth of Jesus, as well as faith, spiritual purpose, and guidance and protection.

Just as the Star of Bethlehem guided the wise men to Jesus in the Bible, the flower is given to represent knowledge, reassurance and guidance in life. It also represents joy, rebirth, a new direction, and hope. 

In the bible, once the star completed its purpose, God shattered it into uncountable pieces, some of which made it to earth and created these flowers.

Like most white flowers, this particular flower also represents purity and innocence, so it is a good choice to honor someone who is pure at heart.

But this flower doesn’t just appear in white. When it makes an appearance in yellow or orange, it represents hope, optimism, joy, positive energy, excitement and ambition.

What Does A Star Of Bethlehem Flower Tattoo Mean?

This flower is an unusual choice for a tattoo, but it has several meanings that are worth memorializing on your skin.

Some people get the star of Bethlehem flower as a tattoo to represent the importance of forgiveness and moving on in life. 

It represents how you have forgiven someone, or moved past something traumatic so that you can focus on what’s ahead. 

It’s not something that fixes a traumatic event to your skin, but the healing you have found afterward, and how this experience has shaped you into a stronger person.

To others, a star of Bethlehem tattoo represents their Christian faith, and their devotion to God, and the trust in their life’s path.

Another reason to get the star of Bethlehem flower as a tattoo is to remind yourself of hope and what guides you in life, something that has shaped you as a person and now serves as your spiritual compass, or to symbolize how you prize honesty above all else. 

It may also honor someone you love who serves as a guiding figure in your life.

It also makes for a very beautiful image, no matter what this flower means to you.

When Should You Gift Someone A Star Of Bethlehem Flower?

There are many reasons why you might give someone a star of Bethlehem flower. As it signifies  honesty, hope, and guidance, you might give it as a gift when someone has reached a milestone in their life.

Another reason to give someone a star of Bethlehem flower is at religious ceremonies such as weddings, christenings, and baptisms.

As it grows so quickly and produces many flowers, it is a popular choice for wedding decorations, as well as bouquets for their long-lasting beauty. 

It’s particularly popular as a cut flower because it can last up to a month when kept in a vase.

You might also give someone a star of Bethlehem as a bulb rather than a cut flower or as part of an arrangement. This can have more significance, as it will thrive for years instead of fading away as a cut bloom.

However, you will need to check that it won’t cause more harm than good, as it spreads rapidly and may overtake an area in no time.  

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