Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Asphodelus fistulosus

Higher Taxonomy
Family: AsphodelaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, shrub [tree], fleshy or not, rhizomed. Stem: branched or not. Leaf: basal or +- so or in terminal clusters, alternate, linear to widely lanceolate [ovate], small (1.5--27 cm, 0.5--3 mm wide) [to large (1.9--4 m, 3--6 cm wide)], leathery or not, fleshy or not, entire or with minute sharp teeth or coarse prickles. Inflorescence: panicle [spike, raceme], bracts scattered. Flower: perianth parts 6, in 2 petal-like whorls, radial or +- bilateral, free or +- fused; stamens 6, equal or not, anthers attached at base or middle; ovary superior, chambers 3. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal. Seed: 6--many, flat, angled, or winged, gray, brown, +- black, black-brown.
Genera In Family: +- 17 genera, 800 species: Africa, Mediterranean to central Asia.
eFlora Treatment Author: Dale W. McNeal
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: AsphodelusView Description 

Common Name: ASPHODEL
Habit: Annual, perennial herb. Leaf: basal, alternate, linear, entire. Inflorescence: bracts persistent, narrowly lanceolate, scarious; pedicels jointed. Flower: perianth parts +- free, white or +- pink; filaments widened, especially toward base; stigma head-like, +- 3-lobed. Seed: 6, black.
Species In Genus: 12 species: southern Europe. Etymology: (Greek: ancient name, flower of Hades and the dead)
Asphodelus fistulosus L.
Habit: Annual or short-lived perennial herb; roots many from +- tuber-like stem bases. Stem: 15--70 cm, branched, hollow. Leaf: many, 10--30 cm, +- 4 mm diam, +- cylindric, hollow, bases wide, membranous. Inflorescence: open. Flower: 5--12 mm; perianth parts oblong, obtuse, white, midrib white or brown-orange; stamens exserted, of 2 lengths, longest = style. Fruit: 5--7 mm, +- spheric. Seed: 3--4 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=28,56.
Ecology: Disturbed areas, fields; Elevation: < 50 m. Bioregional Distribution: s SnJV, CCo, SCo, s ChI (San Clemente Island), expected elsewhere; Distribution Outside California: native to southern Europe. Flowering Time: Mar--Jul
Jepson eFlora Author: Dale W. McNeal
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Botanical illustration including Asphodelus fistulosus

botanical illustration including Asphodelus fistulosus


Citation for this treatment: Dale W. McNeal 2012, Asphodelus fistulosus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 21, 2019.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2019, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 21, 2019.

Asphodelus fistulosus
click for enlargement
© 2017 Steve Matson
Asphodelus fistulosus
click for enlargement
© 2017 Steve Matson
Asphodelus fistulosus
click for enlargement
© 2017 Steve Matson
Asphodelus fistulosus
click for enlargement
© 2017 Steve Matson
Asphodelus fistulosus
click for enlargement
© 2017 Steve Matson

More photos of Asphodelus fistulosus in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Asphodelus fistulosus:
s SnJV, CCo, SCo, s ChI (San Clemente Island), expected elsewhere
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


View elevation by latitude chart

Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.