Asphodelus aestivus - Common Asphodel

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Asparagales - Family: Xanthorrhoeaceae

Asphodelus aestivus

Sometimes confused with Hollow-stemmed Asphodel (Asphodelus fistulosus), this plant flowers earlier - often from December and onwards into spring the following year.

This relative of the Lily family of plants is very common throughout the Mediterranean countries, often occurring alongside Hollow-stemmed Asphodel, which has a darker and more pronounced pink stripe on its flower petals and usually blooms slightly later than Common Asphodel.

Flowers of Asphodelus aestivus

Often appearing as early as December, Common Asphodel can form vast stands that appear to dominate large areas. It is fond of disturbed and abandoned agricultural land but can appear almost anywhere, including close to the sea. This beautiful wildflower blooms from December onwards and is at its best in February and March. It is seldom seen after April but can occasionally be found flowering right through until early June. The plants are disliked by grazing animals, which probably accounts for their vast numbers.

This specimen was photographed in the Algarve, Portugal in April.

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