Asphodelus aestivus (Summer Asphodel)

Scientific Name

Asphodelus aestivus Brot.

Common Names

Summer Asphodel, Common Asphodel, Tall Asphodel, Silver Rod

Synonyms

Asphodelus microcarpus var. aestivus

Scientific Classification

Family: Xanthorrhoeaceae
Subfamily: Asphodeloideae
Genus: Asphodelus

Flower

Color: White with brown mid-stripes
Bloom Time: Late spring

Description

Asphodelus aestivus is an attractive perennial with gray-green, sword-like leaves, up to 18 inches (45 cm) long, and spikes of white, star-like flowers that rise above the foliage in late spring to an overall height of 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 cm). The flowers are about 1 inch (2.5 cm) across and have thin, brown mid-stripes on the petals. They first open at the bottom of the spike and proceed upward to the top over several weeks.

Asphodelus aestivus - Summer Asphodel
Photo via imatgesdemenorca-magda.blogspot.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 7a to 10b: from 0 °F (−17.8 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Grow Asphodels in moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun. They do not tolerate heavy, poorly-drained soil. Irrigate occasionally to very little in coastal gardens. They are considered hardy to USDA zone 6, tolerate temperature down to 14ºF (-10ºC). Great as a border or accent plant.

Propagate Asphodels by seed, sown in pots in a cold frame in spring or propagate by division after flowering. Although you can cut back flower stems after flowering, the seed heads are attractive so that they can be left. See more at How to Grow and Care for Asphodels.

Origin

Native to dry slopes, pastures, pine forests, and mountainous regions of from the Canary Islands and North Africa east across southern Europe and southwest Asia to Iran.

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