White asphodel

White asphodel

White asphodel (Asphodelus albus) is a perennial species of Asphodelus, native to the Mediterranean area.

Description

White asphodel grows to a height of between 50 and 120 cm. The plain stem is supported by fleshy, thickened roots. The leaves, which originate from the base of the stem, are gutter-shaped and glaucous (i.e. covered by a waxy coating).

White flowers with six elongated petals are produced between April and June.

Habitat

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 m. It is also found on the continent Africa, mainly in Libyan territory. Soils with a high lime content are preferred.

In culture

In Ancient Greece, white asphodel was associated with mourning and death. Its presence was held to facilitate the transition of the dead to Elysium.

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