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Asphodelus (Asphodel)

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Asphodelus (Asphodel)

(Greek name of unknown origin) Hardy herbaceous stemless plants, with white, lily-like flowers in long racemes, fleshy, fascicled roots, and firm, linear, radical. tufted leaves. Perianth funnel-shaped; segments 6, oblong-ligulate, obtuse, equal, with a distinct nerve on the back, and always ascending.

The Asphodel of the ancients, or King's Spear, is Asphodeline lutea, which see. Homer mentions the Asphodel meadows of the dead, where the shades of heroes congregated in Hades. The Asphodel in Greek mythology was the peculiar flower of the dead. It has always been a common weed in Greece, and its pallid yellow flowers are associated with desert places and tombs. The word daffodil is a corruption of Asphodel.

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