"Bayou Bill" Scifres
Dedicated to the conservation and enjoyment of Indiana's natural resources
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A Star is Born
Copyright © 2003 by Bill Scifres

It is 10 a.m., May 9, 2003, as I back my car out of the parking spot in front of my home on White River near Fishers, IN, and head out to run some errands. I move the shift lever to "Drive 1" and gently touch the accelerator to move slowly toward the street. But the car has moved no more than a few feet when something beautiful yells: "Stop! Take a look at me! I am a newcomer!"

I turn the motor off, slide out of the car and walk around to take a look at this new wildflower in my front yard.

Beautiful! But what is it? Never before have I seen this beauty. Not anywhere! Never!

An hour later, with my errands done and my favorite wildflower guide and camera in hand, I return . . . without the foggiest notion of the identity of my new ward.

Click! Click! Click! I photograph it and leaf through the pages of my ancient copy of Peterson's Field Guide To Wildflowers. But I find nothing that appears to be even close.

I go into the house and pore over some other wildflower guides without success, until eventually, I return to reliable old Peterson to find something vaguely similar on page 64.

 "Note the green stripe on the underside of the waxy petals . . . The grasslike leaves often have a whitish midrib," I read.

Still armed with my trusty Peterson, I marched back to the flower to find . . . You guessed it: the green stripe on the underside of the petals, and a whitish midrib down the center of the grasslike leaves.

A star is born . . . The Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum).

Welcome, young fellow . . . or lady, as the case may be.

Image of Star of Bethlehem
Closeup of Star-of-Bethlehem
Under side of flower shows green streaks and grasslike leaf the whitish midrib.

All columns are copyrighted by Bill Scifres and may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the author.  For reproduction permission and media usage fees, contact: Bill Scifres, 6420 East 116th Street, Fishers, IN 46038, E-mail: billscifres@aol.com

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