What is This Giant Weed in My Lawn?

Frequently Asked Questions

Wild Onions or Star-Of-Bethlehem. What is this giant weed in my lawn? 

This giant, interesting looking weed is called Star-of-Bethlehem. They are perennial weeds (return every year), in the lily family, which grow from a bulb. It may look eerily similar to wild onions or wild garlic that you will see on the lawn around the same time of year. 

What time of year does Star-Of-Bethlehem appear?  

This weed generally will emerge from a bulb anywhere from December to March, depending on location and soil temperature. The leaves of the Star-Of-Bethlehem are shiny, dark green with a distinct white midrib. While the flower consists of 6 white petals that collectively resemble a star. 

How do I get rid of Star-Of-Bethlehem?  

Star-Of-Bethlehem is extremely difficult to control the weed. Its waxy leaf surface and the fact that it is a bulb, make it even more difficult to control. The bulb is the part of the plant that makes it able to overwinter and return each year. Herbicides have zero to little effect on the weed. Normal weed control products seem to burn down the leaves of the plant but don’t seem to have any control in reducing the population. Since it is so difficult to control, we encourage homeowners to tolerate the Star-Of-Bethlehem for the 2-3 months that it is visible. 

The good thing about SOB is that it is very short-lived. After the ground temperatures start to warm in the late spring, the green foliage of the SOB dies back. It can’t tolerate the heat whatsoever. It will then go dormant and it physically will not be seen again for another 9 months or so. 

So remember, if you are seeing Star-Of-Bethlehem in the lawn, give it some time. As soon as we get a decent warm spell in the spring, it will be gone before you know it.