Star of Bethlehem: Beautiful Alien

Star-of-Bethlehem came into my garden when our swimming pool first came down and I was in need of some plants. A gardener I’d known brought these invasive little beauties over. I’d told her I really wanted native and things that would not take over but she claimed the bulbs are so easy to simply pull up. Well years later they continue to spread and I continue to pull. Pretty? Yes, but possibly they should remain in Europe and the Mediterranean where they originally came from.

Star-of-Bethlehem is not part of my ultraviolet exhibit as the focus is on plants that are native to New England, or at least the adjacent states. It sure is pretty and it is thought bees are the pollinators. While that may sound good keep in mind not all nectar is created equal. We would not consider orange juice and soda to have the same nutritional value. Nor should we assume it attracts all or at least some beneficial insects as they can be fussy about what they want to taste.

I will have to gather my camera gear and take a closer look at visitors in April when these once again take up their mission of conquering all the open garden space they can.

It is always a surprise to see the world through the ultraviolet light that our wild ones would see. The commonplace green foliage and white flower transform into something hard to predict or imagine.

I am presently in the midst of a website overhaul and updating so excuse the messiness. If you would like to see a few more of the series they are found at:…/G0000ARKh.ktD_Z0

Prints are available on a variety of papers. For the exhibit, I used a Hahnemuhle metallic cotton rag baryta because of the way the brilliant flowers stood out against the black and the edges tear nicely into jagged edges. Message any questions.

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