Where does an asphodel grow

White Affodill, Asphodelus albus - profile and care information

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Flower color
Partial shade, sunny, full sun
May June July
Growth habit
upright, bushy, clump-forming, perennial
up to 100 centimeters high
Soil type
stony, sandy, loamy
Soil moisture
moderately dry, fresh
PH value
neutral, weakly alkaline, alkaline
Limescale tolerance
Calcium tolerant
rich in humus
Plant families
Grass tree family, Xanthorrhoeaceae
Plant species
Rock garden plants, perennials, ornamental plants
Garden style
Rock garden, prairie garden

White affodilla is rarely found in gardens as an ornamental plant. The herbaceous plant from the Affodill family is easy to care for. The affodill has recently become famous through the Harry Potter stories. There it is the basic substance of the drink of the living dead. This connection is not a pure invention. It goes back to Greek mythology. In Europe the plant is under nature protection.


  • botanical name: Asphodelus albus
  • Genus: Affodill (Asphodelus)
  • belongs to the subfamily of the Affodill family (Asphodelaceae)
  • Family: Trees (Xanthorrhoeaceae)
  • Trivial names: White Affodill, Affodill, English: Asphodel
  • herbaceous perennial perennial
  • Height: 30 to 100 cm
  • Spread: 30 cm
  • Leaves: gray-green, basal, narrow, tapering, up to 60 cm long, 2 to 3 cm wide
  • Flower: white, funnel-shaped with a brown central nerve
  • Flowering period: May to July
  • slightly poisonous, not suitable for consumption
  • Parts of the plant used: tuber
  • Origin: European south and southeast
  • not completely hardy, frost protection required
  • very lime tolerant


White affodill is an uncomplicated plant. If the soil is right, it can do without fertilizer and watering. With proper care, Affodill can live to be ten years or even older.

Affodill develops its flowers on individual stems from the leaf rosette. If the stems have faded, they must be cut back to the bottom rosette. Make sure that the rosette is not damaged. You should also remove withered leaves, but here too, do not cut back too deep so as not to damage the budding area.


The meaning of the affodill goes back to antiquity. At that time it was considered a mourning plant and was intended to facilitate the transition into the realm of the dead for the deceased. In southern Europe, this tradition is still carried on in a certain way today. White affodilla is a popular cemetery plant in these regions. It used to be planted on graves as well. At that time, the starchy tubers were a kind of food for the dead.

The affodilla is of particular importance on the island of Corsica. On All Saints' Day the flower stalks are cut off and soaked in olive oil. The soaked stems are then placed around the graves and set on fire. They don't burn up instantly, but start to glow like a torch. Because of this property, the dry stems were even used as torches for lighting in some regions.

Since Asphodelus albus is avoided by grazing cattle, it is often found in grazed meadows. In ancient times, this image in front of one's eyes led the writer Homer to call the rulership of Hades, the god of the dead, an asphodel meadow, because according to myth, the plant should thrive wonderfully even in the wastes of the dead.

Medicinal plant

Asphodelus albus has been used as a medicinal plant since the Middle Ages. Its first cultivation is dated to 1596. White affodill has thick, fleshy roots. The rhizome runners crawl on the surface. In natural medicine, the dried roots are ground to a powder. The powder is still used today to combat skin diseases and water retention.

The boiled roots of Affodill help with digestive disorders and stomach ulcers. A dehydrating, kidney-stimulating and diuretic effect is also attributed to the Affodill. Because of the slight toxicity, however, it is better not to use it internally. In addition, it should therefore no longer be used as food today. In general, Affodill is no longer considered edible today. The roots of the affodill are used industrially for adhesives and for ethanol production.


In its southern European homeland, white affodill grows in open terrain. Mountain meadows or clear cuts, but also rocky terrain overgrown with grass are among his preferred locations in nature. Asphodelus albus also tolerates the altitude well. It grows at heights of up to 2,000 meters. Therefore, the Alpinum, the rock garden or the herbaceous borders are particularly suitable for cultivation. But you can also put it on the edge of trees.

  • Light requirement: full sun or partial shade
  • heat tolerant
  • warm and protected
  • no waterlogging
  • needs frost protection
  • House wall or stone wall
  • suitable for rock gardens, alpinum
  • Visually, white affodill looks best as a specimen plant against a dark background


Asphodelus albus can cope well with nutrient-poor soils as long as they are dry and permeable to water.

  • chalky subsoil
  • loamy - sandy soil
  • pH value 8 to 10


Container plants can be planted from March to June and September to November. If several plants are placed next to each other, the planting distance must be at least 50 cm so that the individual plants can develop well.

Watering and fertilizing

Affodill is native to areas that are rather arid. Therefore, it does not have to be additionally poured or fertilized. On the contrary, waterlogging should be avoided by using a permeable soil.

To cut

Affodill does not require a special cut. The plant can be cut back in spring, but does not have to be.


Only the storage root is harvested from the Affodill. This is edible. The starchy tubers formed an important food source in ancient times. Since they lose the bitter substances when roasting or cooking, the tubers were an ideal food. The tubers were roasted and mixed with figs for a simple dish. The tubers were also used to bake bread. Today the tubers are no longer seen as food. In addition, the plant is under nature protection in Europe, so you have to do without harvesting the tubers anyway.


Asphodelus albus is slightly poisonous except for the tubers. So it is left on pastures by cows and sheep. For this reason, it is now only used externally as a medicinal plant and is no longer consumed.


Of the numerous species of the Affodilla family, only the White Affodilla can stand the German winters. But even it is not completely hardy and needs frost protection. Over time, however, it gets used to our winters and survives them even without frost protection.

  • protect from winter wetness
  • Cut off leaves
  • Protect young plants from frost

White affodilla overwinters as a small, gray-green leaf rosette. Make sure the soil stays dry in winter.


White affodill is a very sociable plant. In meadows he often forms groups that gradually populate the entire meadow.


Seeds for propagation can be taken from the egg-shaped capsule fruits or purchased from specialist shops. Affodill is a cold germ. Propagation with seeds is also tedious. It can take up to two years for the seeds to germinate.


In spring, white affodill can be propagated vegetatively by dividing. This can be difficult, however, as the fleshy roots of the perennial are very difficult to divide.


Diseases and pests

Diseases or pests do not normally occur with Affodill.