Is there anything I can do, besides digging, to rid my garden of the star of Bethlehem weed?
Star of Bethlehem weed (Ornithogalum umbellatum) is also known by the common names summer snowflake, starflower, snowdrops, and nap-at-noon. This is a plant that was introduced to the horticultural trade as an ornamental spring-flowering bulb, not native to the United States. It has escaped to become a weed.
The plant itself resembles wild garlic or wild onion, but unlike those weeds, its clump of succulent leaves has a white stripe in the mid-vein of the leaf. The 6-petal, white flowers that bloom in late spring have a green stripe underneath the petals. The easiest characteristic to recognize is that the plant has no odor, unlike the wild garlic and onion plants. In addition, this plant is toxic. Ingesting the leaves and flowers can cause intestinal reactions, and the bulbs have been reported in some cases to cause death when consumed.
Good advice is to keep on digging and disposing of the plants as they appear in the spring. Although they go dormant after blooming, the bulbs multiply, so dig them out while they are visible in the spring to prevent each old bulb from multiplying to produce its goal of 7 new bulbs. Tests show that many herbicides have not proven to be effective. Most of the herbicides with glyphosate will kill the current season’s leaves, but re-growth the following year has not been significantly reduced. Broadleaf weed killers with 2,4-D as the active ingredient have not been effective at all. So, keep on digging, and don’t let them get you down.