Herb: Asphodel

Latin name: Asphodelus albus

Synonyms: Asphodelus macrocarpus

Family: Asphodelaceae

Medicinal use of Asphodel:

The tubers are antidermatosic, detergent, emollient and vulnerary. They are mainly used externally in the treatment of skin conditions and for lightening freckles. They have also been employed internally as a cough remedy. The tubers are harvested in the spring and dried for later use. Use internally with caution, especially if you are suffering from nephritis or gastritis.

Description of the plant:


100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)

May to

Habitat of the herb:

Ploughed fields, rough ground, dry hills and mountain meadows.

Edible parts of Asphodel:

The root was at one time eaten as a food but, since it contains the alkaloid asphodeline, this is not really very advisable.

Other uses of the herb:

An alcohol can be obtained from the fermented roots.

Propagation of Asphodel:

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:

Ploughed fields, rough ground, dry hills and mountain meadows.

Known hazards of Asphodelus albus:

The root is poisonous.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.