) is a perennial
species of Asphodelus
, native to the Mediterranean
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.
White asphodel is commonly found in meadows
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 Ancient Greece, white asphodel was associated with mourning and death. Its presence was held to facilitate the transition of the dead to Elysium.