Photo: © Jelitto
This lovely spring-flowering perennial was associated in Greek mythology with death, the underworld and mourning. Homer wrote that it grew in great profusion across the Asphodel Fields, the land of the dead, as the tubers were a favoured food of the ghostly inhabitants.
More recently, asphodel root pops up in Harry Potter as an ingredient in a deathly potion. Such macabre associations are ill deserved as asphodel are beautiful specimen plants that burst into flower in early spring when there is little else to enjoy.
They are best grown in moderately fertile, well-drained soils in full sun.
Grass-like, blue green leaves rise up from fleshy thickened roots to form a basal clump of foliage. Flowering stems bear racemes of star shaped white flowers followed by egg-shaped, yellow-green seed capsules. Lovely.
Fertile, deep, well drained
Shepherds Lodge•Clay Hill Road•Lamberhurst•Kent•TN3 8LT
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