Asphodel-FOR Erasmus+ Project

COLLABORATIVE DICTIONARY OF MYTHOLOGICAL PLANTS

TARGET GROUP NUMBER: 19

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FOUNDED BY EUROPEAN UNION

SCIENTIFIC NAME:.

Asphodelus albus

VULGAR NAME:

ENGLISH: Asphodel

SPANISH: Asfódelo/Gamón

BASQUE: Anbulo

ITALIAN: Asfodelo

GREEK: Ασφόδελος

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MORPHOLOGICAL DESCRIPTION:

White asphodel grows to a height of 50–120 centimetres (20–47 in). The plain stem is supported by fleshy, thickened roots (rhizomes). The leaves, which originate from the base of the stem, are gutter-shaped and glaucous (covered by a waxy coating), about 20–22 millimetres (0.79–0.87 in) wide and 50–70 centimetres (20–28 in) long. The white hermaphroditic flowers are funnel-shaped, 4 centimetres (1.6 in) of diameter, with six elongated petals. The flowering period extends from April through June. The egg-shaped yellow-green seed capsules are usually 8–10 millimetres (0.31–0.39 in) in length.

This plat usually grows in the Mediterranean area. White asphodel is commonly found in meadows and heathland of central Spain, southwest France, and along the southern Alps to the western Balkans up to an altitude of 2,000 metres (6,600 ft). It is also found on the continent Africa, mainly in Libyan territory. Soils with a high lime content are preferred.

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USES AND THREATS:

USES:

Acid, heating and diuretic. Said to be useful inmestrual obstructions and as antispasmodic. The bruised root has been recommended for rapidly dissolving scrofulous swellings.

The leaves are used to wrap burrata, an Italian cheese. The leaves and the cheese last about the same time, three or four days, and thus fresh leaves are a sign of a fresh cheese, while dried out leaves indicate that the cheese is past its prime. In Sardinia, honey produced from bees who have fed on the plant is highly favored for its delicate taste.


THREATS:

This primary forest species cannot tolerate much degradation of its habitat. However, local threats of deforestation and degradation can only be classed as minor for the species as a whole because it is widespread across a large extent of occurrence.

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SYMBOLISM (HADES):

The Asphodel is considered the flower of the underworld. In Greek Antiquity till the present day this flower is associated with mourning. Negative symbolism is attributed to Asphodel for its whiteness pale and ghostly.

For Omerus it was the plant of hell, just because it grows where no other plant can resist, and is very popular in the Greek tradition, where it was believed that the souls of the good persons and the bad persons don' t fly on Asphodel fields, and it was used to plant them on the graves.

CLASSICAL MYHTS RELATED TO THE PLANT:

Asphodel comes from the Greek, "a" = not ,"spodos"= ash and "elos" = valley; that is what Valley was not reduced to ashes . The name derives from the fact that the garighe often subject to cover fire. asfodeli Underground organs degli asfodeli (bulb-tubers), in fact, survive the passage of fire. The ancient Greeks made up the underworld covered by asphodels because it was the symbol of the deceased and were used to adorn the tombs.


Both in the underworld and in the upperworld, the two kingdoms including that splits her time, Persephone is always accompanied by flowers. On the threshold of the Kingdom of Hades, where the deceased came after having crossed a river and after crossing a door guarded by Cerberus, rippling meadows on which flutter the ghosts.

Surprise while she was with girls to collect for game roses, violets, the goddess "by the fine ankles" was abducted in the underworld, and so she came to the fields of Asphodel.

VIDEOS ON THE MYTH:

ASFODELO