Photo Source: nature.mdc.mo.gov
The Star of Bethlehem is a bulbous perennial that begins popping up in the very early spring/late winter in the Southeastern United States. It has three prominent distinguishing features: the leaves, flowers, and growth patterns. The long skinny leaves are rounded and hollow with a distinct lighter colored midrib running up the center. In the spring, this little plant flowers in dainty white five-petaled blooms all over the whole plant. As opposed to our last Weed ID (the Wild Violet), this plant grows in clumps.
Star of Bethlehem Bulbs
Photo Source: extension.usu.edu
Although they are an attractive plant and look nice in the appropriate spot, you might not want them running amuck in your yard. This one is particularly difficult to get rid of as not even Round-Up / Glyphosate has a strong effect on it (At Restoration Lawn Care, we do NOT use Round-Up / Glyphosate).
Here are a few ways to control them:
Hand Pulling them when the ground is soft from a steady rain. Be careful as to remove the entire bulb when pulling. If some are left, a new plant will come up. (check out a video here)
Since it grows from bulbs, pre-emergents will not work on the Star of Bethlehem.*
Most herbicides available to the homeowner will not kill this plant.*
At Restoration Lawn Care, as a part of our Fertilizer and Weed Control subscription, we have a treatment that helps inhibit the growth of nutsedges and Star of Bethlehem. Our technicians also spot spray weeds as they pop up in your yard so that we do not blanket spray unneeded chemicals on the grass.
*Always check the label to make sure that the chemical is safe for your lawn type.