Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Asphodelus aestivus Brot.

Stout, erect stem to 90cm, the leaves flat, broad, linear to linear-lanceolate, to 3cm wide, leathery, thick, long, pointed, the flowers white with a reddish middle stripe in densely-flowered panicles, the branches to 30cm long, in spring.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Native of the South of Europe.  Immense tracts of land in Apulia are covered with it, and it affords good nourishment to the sheep.  Cultivated in 1596, by Gerrard.  Hardy.  It does not increase very fast by roots, nor should it be often transplanted, for that will weaken it, so that the flower stems will not rise so tall, nor produce so many flowers, as when left undisturbed for some years; therefore the best way is to propagate it by seeds.’  [BM t.799/1804]. 

Asphodelus verus ramosus albus: An elegant garden flower, a native of Italy, and preserved with us more for its beauty than its use, though sometimes taken as a medicine.’  [Hill p.18].

History at Camden Park

A handwritten note in an 1850 catalogue is the only reference [MP A2947A].  Certainly grown in the gardens at this time.


Asphodelus aestivus Brigant. (1816) = Asphodeline liburnica Rchb.  This is also a possibility.  [RHSD, BM t.2626/1826].

Published Jan 10, 2010 - 03:25 PM | Last updated Jan 10, 2010 - 03:32 PM

Figured is a leaf and raceme of white flowers, the petals with a central red stripe.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.799, 1804.

Asphodelus aestivus Brot. | BM t.799/1804 | BHL

Family Asphodelaceae
Region of origin

Southern Europe to Asia and north Africa

  • Asphodelus microcarpus Rchb.
  • Asphodelus ramosus L. 
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Asphodelus aestivus  

Confidence level medium