Asphodeline lutea

4 Jun

Asphodeline lutea flower (16/05/2011, Paris)

Asphodeline lutea flower (16/05/2011, Paris)

Position: Full sun to light shade

Soil: Moist well drained soil

Flowering period: Spring

Eventual Height: 1m

Eventual Spread: 30cm

Hardiness: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Xanthorrhoeaceae

Sub Family: Asphodeloideae

Asphodeline lutea is a deciduous perennial with a clump forming habit. From the blue green grass like foliage a flower spike emerges in early spring. The foliage is produced along the length flowering stems and is furrowed and narrowly triangular. In late spring it bears dense racemes of bright yellow flowers with large ovate bracts which are followed by shiny green seed pods. The flowers open in a seemingly random order and do not last long.

Asphodeline lutea, commonly known as Kings Spear, Jacob’s Rod and Yellow Asphodel, is native to the Mediterranean. Asphodels have historically symbolised death stemming from the Greek belief that there were great fields of Asphodels beyond the river Acheron in the underworld, where the shades wandered.

The etymological root of the binomial name Asphodeline is derived from the ancient Greek name for the true asphodels, asphodelus. Lutea is from the Latin meaning ‘yellow’ or ‘saffron’.

Asphodeline lutea (16/05/2011, Paris)

Asphodeline lutea (16/05/2011, Paris)

The landscape architect may find Asphodeline lutea  useful when used in combination with other perennials and it is particularly attractive when planted in swathes.

Asphodeline lutea will tolerate almost any soil conditions; it will be happy in acid, neutral or alkaline pH levels, in loam, sand or chalk in a sheltered or exposed location but will not thrive in a north facing aspect.

Ecologically Asphodeline lutea will attract bees and other pollinating insects.

Asphodeline lutea requires little maintenance. Dead flower spikes may be removed in autumn. Large clumps may be split after flowering, from August to September.

Davis Landscape Architecture

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