Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of several chiefly Mediterranean plants of the genera Asphodeline and Asphodelus in the lily family, having linear leaves and elongate clusters of white, pink, or yellow flowers.
  • n. Any of several other plants, such as the bog asphodel.
  • n. In Greek poetry and mythology, the flowers of Hades and the dead, sacred to Persephone.
  • n. In early English and French poetry, the daffodil.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Flowering plants of the Asphodelaceae family, especially Asphodelus ramosus and Asphodelus albus; the flowers of these plants.
  • n. The flower said to carpet Hades, and a favorite food of the dead.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A general name for a plant of the genus Asphodelus. The asphodels are hardy perennial plants, several species of which are cultivated for the beauty of their flowers.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A name of various species of Asphodelus, a genus of plants, natural order Liliaceæ, natives of southern Europe.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of various chiefly Mediterranean plants of the genera Asphodeline and Asphodelus having linear leaves and racemes of white or pink or yellow flowers

Etymologies

Latin asphodelus, from Greek asphodelos.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek ἀσφόδελος (asphodelos). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Two green hairstreak butterflies, gracefully viridescent, dance past on a soft wind that sifts through reeds, sets waving the tall golden flower stems of bog asphodel, and silky white plumes of cottongrass that has colonised the old peat-diggings.

    Country diary: Tregaron, Ceredigon

  • How do we appraise an illuminated manuscript from a 15th-century book of hours, the translucent skin of a lady's portrait from 1610 on a three-inch oval of vellum, the stems of an asphodel curling across the page in a botanical illustration from 1747 that dimly presages the all-over aesthetic of action painting?

    Medium is message at Tate Britain 'Watercolour' show

  • The margins of the loch were a riot of colour – the bright yellow of the bog asphodel contrasting with the red, greens and yellows of the sphagnum mosses.

    Country diary: Loch Bran

  • This harks back to my aptly named post Death and daffodils where I explored a possible native etymology of ἀσφοδελός 'the netherworld asphodel meadow' effectively meaning 'the meadow (ἕλος) not (ἀ-) reduced to ashes (σποδός) or 'unashen meadow'.

    Thoughts on the etymology of Greek ἀκακαλίς

  • After a while the mist cleared and the group came upon fields of asphodel.

    PERSEPHONE THE PHONY

  • Where I come from almost nothing grows—except asphodel.

    PERSEPHONE THE PHONY

  • So what if asphodel was the only flower that bloomed here?

    PERSEPHONE THE PHONY

  • As soon as she arrived, the dogs began to frolic together in the park nearby, traipsing through fields of asphodel, irises, and ferns.

    Artemis the Brave

  • And think not that the felicity of the heroes and demigods in the Elysian fields consisteth either in their asphodel, ambrosia, or nectar, as our old women here used to say; but in this, according to my judgment, that they wipe their tails with the neck of a goose, holding her head betwixt their legs, and such is the opinion of Master John of Scotland, alias Scotus.

    It’s a bum wrap « Anglican Samizdat

  • Shade, Demeter mother of asphodel weeping dew, her daughter stored in salty caverns under white snow, black hail, grey winter rain or Polar ice, immemor

    Allen Ginsberg

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  • This word was used in the first Harry Potter movie.

    June 12, 2012

  • Honeysuckle! And now
    there comes the buzzing of a bee!
    and a whole flood
    of sister memories!
    Only give me time,
    time to recall them
    before I shall speak out.
    Give me time,
    time.
    When I was a boy
    I kept a book
    to which, from time
    to time,
    I added pressed flowers
    until, after a time,
    I had a good collection.
    The asphodel,
    forebodingly,
    among them.
    I bring you,
    reawakened,
    a memory of those flowers.
    They were sweet
    when I pressed them
    and retained
    something of their sweetness
    a long time.


    From "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower" by William Carlos Williams

    June 26, 2011