Asphodelus albus

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Asphodelus albus
Asphodelus albus.004.JPG
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Xanthorrhoeaceae
Subfamily: Asphodeloideae
Genus: Asphodelus
Species: A. albus
Binomial name
Asphodelus albus
Willd.
Synonyms
  • Asphodelus sphaerocarpus Gren. & Godron
  • Asimina cuneata Shuttlew ex A. Gray
  • Pityothamnus reticulatus (Shuttlew. ex Chapm.) Small
  • Asphodelus arrondeaui J.Lloyd
  • Asphodelus subalpinus Gren. & Godr.

Asphodelus albus, common name White asphodel, is a herbaceous perennial plant belonging to the genus Asphodelus.

Description[edit]

Capsules and seeds

White asphodel grows to a height of 50–120 centimetres (20–47 in). The plain stem is supported by fleshy, thickened roots (rhizomes). The leaves, which originate from the base of the stem, are gutter-shaped and glaucous (covered by a waxy coating), about 20–22 millimetres (0.79–0.87 in) wide and 50–70 centimetres (20–28 in) long. The white hermaphroditic flowers are funnel-shaped, 4 centimetres (1.6 in) of diameter, with six elongated petals. The flowering period extends from April through June. The egg-shaped yellow-green seed capsules are usually 8–10 millimetres (0.31–0.39 in) in length.

Distribution[edit]

This plant is native to the Mediterranean area.

Habitat[edit]

White asphodel is commonly found in meadows and heathland of central Spain, southwest France, and along the southern Alps to the western Balkans up to an altitude of 2,000 metres (6,600 ft). It is also found on the continent Africa, mainly in Libyan territory. Soils with a high lime content are preferred.

In culture[edit]

In Ancient Greece, white asphodel was associated with mourning and death. Its presence was held to facilitate the transition of the dead to Elysium, and it is a feature of the Asphodel Meadows.

Subspecies[edit]

  • Asphodelus albus subsp. villarsii (Verl. ex Billot) I. Richardson & Smythies
  • Asphodelus albus subsp. carpetanus
  • Asphodelus albus subsp. delphinensis
  • Asphodelus albus subsp. occidentalis

References[edit]

External links[edit]