Herb latin name: Asphodelus aestivus

Synonyms: Asphodelus microcarpus, Asphodelus ramosus

Family: Asphodelaceae

Medicinal use of Asphodelus aestivus:

The root, gathered at the end of its first year, is acrid, antispasmodic, diuretic, emmenagogue. It was used in the treatment of several diseases by the Greeks and Romans, but is not employed in modern medicine.

Description of the plant:


100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)

June to

Habitat of the herb:

Rocky places, hills, dry places and on poor uncultivated ground.

Edible parts of Asphodelus aestivus:

Tuber - cooked. Rich in starch. Dried and boiled in water it yields a mucilaginous matter which can be mixed with grain to make a nutritious bread. Boiling destroys the acrid principle in the tubers, rendering them quite pleasant to eat. Flowering stalk - cooked. Seed - roasted.

Other uses of the herb:

The dried tuber is pulverized and mixed with cold water to make a strong glue that is used by bookmakers and shoemakers. A yellow dye is obtained from the tuber.

Propagation of Asphodelus aestivus:

Seed - sow March/April in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination usually takes place in 1 - 3 months at 15C. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. When the plants are large enough to handle, plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division in early spring or autumn.

Cultivation of the herb:

Rocky places, hills, dry places and on poor uncultivated ground.

Known hazards of Asphodelus aestivus:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.