Star of Bethlehem (Laurentia Longiflora)

Synonyms: Isotoma longiflora Laurentia longiflora
Common name: Star of Bethlehem, Madam Fate, Star Flower.
Malay name: Dedalu Cina.
Botanical name: Hippobroma longiflora
Family: Campanulaceae (Bell flower family)

Star of Bethlehem, a native of the West Indies, is a perennial herb with poisonous milky sap. The botanical name Hippobroma means horse madness, referring to the poison which drives horses mad. The plants will reach 2 feet in containers and are very showy when in bloom. It is a herb which forms a rosette of narrow lanceolate leaves that are thick, pubescentes and coarsely pinnatilobed. White flowers come on 2 cm pubescent stalks. Sepals are about 3 cm long. Flower tube is usually 8-11 cm long, plus the 2-2.5 cm long petals. That explains the other part of its botanical name longiflora, meaning long flowers.
Propagation: Seed.

This plant can cause burns to the mouth and throat. It can also cause blindness upon contact with the eyes. Systemic symptoms that can occur is like tremors, heart rate and irregular breathing, convulsions and paralysis.


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