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asphodelus aestivus

By CarolG  
Asphodelus aestivus, or common asphodel, is a tall flowering perennial, often reaching 1.5 metres or more. It emits a sweet, unpleasant scent which often causes nausea. It can be found in large colonies in meadows and barren land.

For the ancient greeks the asphodel was a symbol of mourning, it was planted in cemeteries so that the starchy roots could be used as nourishment for the souls of the dead. The bulbs of the asphodel contain so much starch that, if they are boiled in a large quantity of water, they can be used for food in periods of famine. Shoemakers used to pound the roots into a mortar and make a very strong glue, ideal for leather. Even alcohol can be produced from the bulbs. The plant has heart-tonic, diuretic and healing properties. An ointment was made from the grated bulb, boiled in wine until it formed a cream, and used for the cure and healing of gangrene, mastitis and boils.

Tags: General Wild Plant Flower Close-up Flowers and plants Close-up and macro

Voters: CherryMartin, Buffalo_Tom, iancam and 102 more

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Wonderful images Carol.

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9 Feb 2009 5:20AM
Beautiful images and presentation
9 25 4 England
9 Feb 2009 5:23AM
Great set, V2's presentation is really good.
Buffalo_Tom Plus
11 2.3k 9 Wales
9 Feb 2009 5:26AM
Like the light in these Carol.V2 my favourite.
9 Feb 2009 5:37AM
very good capture, well composition.
Koert 9 36 Netherlands
9 Feb 2009 6:02AM
beautiful set
and sounds like a useful plant doesn't it?

9 Feb 2009 7:06AM
great one, beautiful
11 18 1 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2009 7:06AM
Fantasdtic Carol, what more can I say?
9 Feb 2009 7:39AM
Beautiful and interesting Carol. Then composition in V3 is my favourite.

ugly Plus
9 9 57 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2009 7:43AM
A very nice detailed shot...
Very nice colours and sharpness...
A better boarder than mine...

9 Feb 2009 8:13AM
wonderful little shots
jaktis Plus
14 84 Sweden
9 Feb 2009 8:21AM
Great that the scent dont comes along, a beuatiful flower anyway

9 Feb 2009 8:24AM
3 great shots
And thanks for the info as well
Fine composition & good shot.
Reminds me of a great trip to the Aeolian islands a few years ago. I got very excited when I saw some asphodels for the first time. Such a striking flower.
Your 3 versions are excellent and show the beauty of this flower. JNC
nickyv32 Plus
10 135 England
9 Feb 2009 8:45AM
Super set of shots, I think No 3 has the added X factor for me, things are coming on very slowly here, back to the hospital in a min with Dad (hopalong)

9 Feb 2009 8:47AM
This is georgeous Carol, I particually like V2 because of the lovely presentation
Yet again you have given use three cracking images
Steve_S Plus
12 180 3 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2009 8:57AM
3 great images Carol, can't pick between them
Mavis Plus
15 143 2 England
9 Feb 2009 9:01AM
I have seen Asphodels growing wild in Greece , Turkey and Cyprus Carol . I didn't realise how useful they could be . Three great shots. Thanks for telling us xxx Smile
9 Feb 2009 9:30AM
The shots and informatikon are superb, what a clever plant, makes you realise each plant is there for a reason.
Natzdad Plus
9 29 2 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2009 9:42AM
Beautiful set,love the framing in V2..........Mick
v1 and v2
9 Feb 2009 10:00AM
Three beautiful images, thanks for the information , it looks a spectacular flower.
9 Feb 2009 10:05AM
3 gorgeous shots nice lighting and well presented
GalleryGirl 10 4 2 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2009 10:11AM
Nice light captured Carol. Clever you on 2 best of week gallery photos! Wink
Marilyn xx
9 Feb 2009 10:13AM
Beautiful Carol , love v2. Janine
9 Feb 2009 12:10PM
Great set Carol

9 Feb 2009 12:19PM
Very pretty Carol.
Thanks for the advice I will give it a go.
9 Feb 2009 12:20PM
Superb set too hard to choose. Sylvia
pluckyfilly Plus
11 351 33 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2009 12:26PM
I like all three Carol but V3 has a difference about it that works very well
mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1849 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2009 12:45PM
The site went down for maintenance just as I was trying to open this earlier! Worth the wait, I can't decide between V1 & V3, but I definitely want the darker background. Maybe V1 is more dynamic, V3 more reflective. Love shadows on white petals, that's a special sort of magic.
lonely_oryx Plus
10 61 55 England
9 Feb 2009 12:58PM
Great shots as always
dianah Plus
11 24.5k 4 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2009 1:10PM
These are all fabulous Carol..wonderful light and the framing is excellent.
Joline Plus
11 29 53 United States
9 Feb 2009 1:11PM
I am really enjoying your herbalist lore. The photography is always a pleasure to view. v3 is my favorite.
9 Feb 2009 1:16PM
wonderful set of images great detail and lighting interesting write up nice presentation-ray
Amazing shots.
Daisymaye Plus
9 23 13 Canada
9 Feb 2009 1:52PM
All 3 are beautiful. I like V3 most, V1 second and V3 third. The way the flower is lit and its composition make 3 my favorite. Like the way 2 is presented. And 1 the light on the flower is nicer than 2.
But all are superb.
Bob_V Plus
10 1 2 United States
9 Feb 2009 2:31PM
Such marvelous light in these beauties Carol, a interesting write up, also.
9 Feb 2009 2:40PM
Hi, Carol, three superb shots from you again, beautiful detail and lighting. Been to hospital again today they were concerned I could have DVT, but hopefully they are wrong, thanks for asking. Best wishes.
BarbaraR Plus
11 17 1 England
9 Feb 2009 3:06PM
Particularly like V1 here.
Such an interesting flower and well presented.
Well done Carol.

What a stunning flower! and so well photographed. I particularly like the dark background, which really shows the flower off to its best advantage.Great light too. Your images just get better and better.
AnneWorner Plus
10 620 43 United States
9 Feb 2009 3:29PM
All excellent images Carol, with beautiful light and detail.
SlowSong Plus
9 7.2k 30 England
9 Feb 2009 3:34PM
I love the hard directional lighting on these images. V1 is especially beautiful, but V3 has a strangeness about it which is appealing.
exposure Plus
13 5.3k England
9 Feb 2009 3:54PM
Three beautiful presentations Carol lovely detail.
9 Feb 2009 4:11PM
Beautiful, mybe a little to harsh ligt.
glyndwr Plus
10 66 10 Wales
9 Feb 2009 4:21PM
V2 for me Carol.

These are stunning with great presentations.

Jean x
9 Feb 2009 4:46PM
Excellent captures Carol.
Like the the way the sunlight catches the flowers.
Amazing details and colours.
franfoto Plus
10 2 32 England
9 Feb 2009 5:11PM
All three are lovely shots but #2 stands right out for me. What an unusual flower.
Great info Carol, lovely blooms too. Trish
9 Feb 2009 6:34PM
They all fantastic shots, but i do love V2 great presentation.
cassiecat Plus
9 39 46 England
9 Feb 2009 6:39PM
v2 for me.lesley
9 Feb 2009 6:45PM
Hi Carol
Super set of images, simply the best!
9 Feb 2009 6:57PM
What an amazing plant Carol, Beautifully captured and presented in each of the Images,
Fantastic!!!!!v2 this time,my friend
9 Feb 2009 7:42PM
Beautiful shots, well detailed and presented Carol, also interesting write up.
teocali Plus
9 441 18 England
9 Feb 2009 9:04PM
Another trio of truly exquisite flower close-ups and wonderful presentation in all. This flower, with superb detail, tones, textures and light has an atmosphere of being shrouded in mystery.

I can add to your wonderful write-up:- as a child I was fascinated by Greek mythology, especially the story of Mother Earth (Demeter/Ceres) and her daughter Persephone (Proserpine) and the reason why we have winter. Hades(Pluto), the King of the Underworld, fell in love with Persephone and caused a flower - this flower - to grow in a spot where the young girl and her playmates were gathering flowers. She had never seen such a bloom before and when she grasped it and pulled, the earth opened and Hades appeared in his chariot, snatched her and took her down to the Underworld to be his bride. Demeter, Mother Earth, went into mourning and everything died down and it became winter. She begged that her daughter be returned and was told that she could return unless she had eaten anything in the Underworld. She had eaten 4 pomegranite seeds and hence for 4 months of the year she has to return to the Underworld and we have to suffer winter!
Incidentally, the area of the Underworld similar to our Purgatory is called the Asphodel Fields - where the souls of the dead, who were neither good nor bad in their lives, roam.

FeatherFriend Plus
10 38 217 England
9 Feb 2009 9:54PM
Beautiful shots again Carol, lovely write up too,
Rock Plus
15 10 2 England
9 Feb 2009 10:16PM
Wonderful Work !

goso Plus
11 2 1 Australia
10 Feb 2009 5:40AM
Beautiful Carol......Bill
piccy Plus
11 8 Wales
10 Feb 2009 4:55PM
Versatile little plant, three lovely views.
10 Feb 2009 10:32PM
all beauties
11 Feb 2009 5:37PM
Super light and detail.
11 Feb 2009 5:54PM
V2 for me Carol
12 Feb 2009 12:51PM
Great light and detail. Nice.
such wonderful detail and information. gill
brownsilent 11 7 2 United Kingdom
12 Feb 2009 10:49PM
Superb set once more. V2 is absolutely brilliant.

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