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Gardening with Indigenous Plants
Indigenous Plant Use
Identification & Control of Common Weeds
Botanical Name:Burchardia umbellata
Common Name:milkmaids , popoto , star-of- bethlehem
Sold As:Tube ($2.00)
Lily, Ground Cover (up to 30 cm), Indigenous Plant Use
Indigenous Plant Use:Tubers can be roasted or eaten raw.  The potato like tuber are white, fleshy, crisp, and starchy, with a nondescript flavor.CAUTION: Many plants are poisonous if not collected and prepared properly!
Full Sun, Partial Shade
Moist, Wet, Well Drained
50 cm high
Foliage:1-2 narrow, fleshy channelled basal leaves 10-30 cm x 3-6 mm. Leaf-like bracts on flowering stem.
Flowers:Terminal cluster of 2-9 honey-scented (white often pink on outside) flowers to 30 mm wide. Anthers pink or purple. Erect triangular seed capsules remain on plant after seed shed. September-December
Perennial herb with a corm and tuberous roots. Plant dies down after flowering in summer. Attractive little plant for drifts amongst trees with a light canopy, in rockeries or in containers.

  1. Australian Native Plants Society
  2. Yarra Ranges Council (Victora, close to us)
  3. Greening Australia
  4. Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (VICFLORA, technical, good photos)
  5. Wikipedia (free online encyclopedia)
  6. iNaturalist
  7. NatureMapr (Canberra)
  8. Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew UK, technical)

Plants can be propagated from seed which does not require pre-treatment for successful germination.

The fruit is a capsule and needs to be monitored closely as mature seeds shed within 3-14 days.  Collect capsules by hand when red-brown and brittle, mature seed should be dark brown and hard. Dry seed capsules in paper bags and thresh lightly when capsules have opened.

Click the following thumbnails to open them in gallery view (generally enlarging them)

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