Asphodeline lutea

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Asphodeline lutea (L.) Rchb.

Asphodelaceae

Life form: perennial
Usage: ornamental plant

Exposure: sun   7

Moisture: dry

Soil: sandy loam - Soil: gritty loam - Soil: sandy clay - Soil: loamy clay - Soil: peat

Arrangement: alternate
Leaves: decidious

Shape: linear

Division: simple

Shape: six-stellate
Fruit: loculicidal capsule

12B / ffce2d 

Inflorescence: raceme

Petals: single
Habit: erect

Growth form: stemless

Taxonomy

Divisio:
Magnoliophyta
Subdivisio:
Magnoliophytina
Classis:
Liliopsida
Subclassis:
Liliidae
Superordo:
Lilianae
Ordo:
Asparagales

Asphodeline lutea, commonly known as king's spear, yellow asphodel, is a drought tolerant perennial that is well suited for Mediterranean plantings.

Naming

Asphodeline lutea was already described and the name validly published by Carl Linnaeus. It was Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig Reichenbach, however, who reclassified it into todays valid botanical systematics in 1830.

Taxonomy

Asphodeline lutea is the type species of the genus Asphodeline which contains approximately 19 to 23 species and belongs to the family of the Asphodelaceae (Asphodelus Family).

Characteristics

Asphodeline lutea - leaves
Asphodeline lutea - flowers
Asphodeline lutea - fruits

Growth

The perennials have a stemless growth and reach heights of 80 to 150 centimetres. The plants reach a width of 30 to 50 centimetres.

Leaves

Asphodeline lutea is deciduous. The fern-green, simple leaves are alternate. They are linear and clasping with entire margins and parallel venation. The leaves are around 60 to 80 centimetres large.

Flowers and Fruits

Asphodeline lutea produces racemes of erect, yellow six-stellate flowers from May to June.

The perennials produce ornamental brown loculicidal capsules from summer to autumn.

Root System

Distribution

Asphodeline lutea is native to the Mediterranean.

Cultivation

The perennials prefer a sunny situation on dry soil. The substrate should be sandy-loamy, gritty-loamy, sandy clay, loamy clay or peaty soil with a pH between 8 and 10. They tolerate temperatures down to -18°C (USDA zone 7).

Classification after Prof. Dr. Sieber:

  • flower beds (rich soil)
  • open areas
  • rockeries

Tolerance of special soil conditions

  • none: waterlogging, winter dampness

Uses

Asphodeline lutea is considered a very valuable wild perennial. The recommended planting distance is 40 centimetres, the perennials are best planted in groups of 3 to 5. Suited for rockeries and for beds and borders, as well as suited as slope plant, specimen plant and as bee pasture.

Maintenance and Propagation

  • Winter protection from black frost.

Propagate by sowing.

Cultivars

Pests and Diseases

Literature

  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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