Desert Rose is the name given to rosette formations of the minerals gypsum and barite with sand inclusions. The 'petals' are crystals flattened, fanning open along characteristic gypsum cleavage planes. The rosette crystal habit tends to occur when the crystals form in arid sandy conditions, such as the evaporation of a shallow salt basin. Desert roses are beautiful examples of the natural power of the shaping forces of wind, water and pressure in dry, arid regions.
The white form of this Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum thyrsioides 'Chesapeake Snowflake') is quite rare in nature. Dense heads of long-lasting, pure white flowers sit atop a sturdy 10-inch scape. This cultivar contrasts brilliant white petals with very dark-colored anthers and stigma. Chesapeake Snowflake Star of Bethlehem is native to South Africa and is in the same plant family as hyacinths.