Any of several flowering plants belonging to the family Asphodelaceae. This common name is variously applied and thus much misunderstood. The asphodel of the poets is often a narcissus; that of the ancients is either of two genera, Asphodeline or Asphodelus. Asphodels are hardy herbaceous perennials with narrow leaves and an elongated stem bearing a handsome spike of white, pink, or yellow flowers. Bog asphodel (Narthecium ossifragum) is a small herbaceous plant that grows in boggy places in Britain.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on asphodel, visit Britannica.com.
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