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Asphodelus fistulosus

Posted by
Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 27 March 2011 in Plant & Nature and Portfolio.

Series: "Wild flowers of Crete"

Asphodelus fistulosus (Hollow-leaved asphodel) is a more delicate plant than Asphodelus aestivus (see yesterdays post).

The following info on the species is obtained from the "Wild Plants of Malta" website

This monocot is a perennial which grows from underground fibrous roots. It is seen as a rosette of basal leaves multiple and several unbranched flowering stems.

The plant have several long basal leaves which grow from the underground roots as a rosette. The grey-green leaves are linear in shape, 20-35cm long and just 0.3-0.5 cm wide. Their margin is smooth. The cross section of the leaf is semi-cylindrical and hollowed (like a tube), hence the species name 'fistulosus'. Usually the leaves remain erect and do not bend down. Since the leaves look similar to the onion, this plant got the name of Onion weed. The flowering stem is glabrous, and un-branched producing short-stalked, alternate flowers along its length. Therefore the inflorescences are described as racemes

Flowers are attached to the flowering stalk by 0.5mm long pedicel. In every raceme, the bottom flower opens first and slowly the flowers above blooms one by one. Every single flower remains in bloom for several days. The flower buds are made from the petals itself, since they do not have any true distinctive sepals. The buds are bullet-shaped, and have a white colour with brown vertical stripes.

When the buds open up, they produce a flower with 6 wax-white, oval petals each having a central reddish-brown mid-vein. The most noticable part of the flower is however the 6 stamens which are drooping, and about 8mm long. Each stamen consists of a stubby white filament and a conspicuous large brown anther covered with orange pollen. The central and single style+stigma is slightly longer than the anthers which are about 10mm long. The stigma is divided into 3 inflated pink structures. The flower measures approximately 15-20mm accross, and is sweet scented.

The flower gives the false impression that the ovary has a white colour. Actually, the inferior ovary is green but it is enclosed by a whitish cap which is formed by 6 flaps each coming from the base of every stamen. The fruit are dehiscent capsules, the size of a pea (6mm c.) and splits open when the numerous black seeds are ripe in early Summer. The unripe fruit is originally orange/brown and slowly becomes green with time.

Image: Palaiochora (Crete) - 14/04/2010

Canon EOS 400D 1/1250 second F/5.6 ISO 200 150 mm

© Johan Dierckx

The photos on this site are copyrighted, which prohibits anyone to use them to sell, give away, use in email or newsgroups, use in a homepage or otherwise showing to the public without my explicit, prior, written permission. Please feel free to use the "contact"-button below to contact me with any questions.

All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.

(To see species in the same taxonomic rank (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus), please use the tags provided with the image. The last tag is the Iso-code for the country where the image was taken. Image-date in DD/MM/YYYY format.)

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sunstone_maria from California, United States

beautiful, great colors, warm tones, love the quality!

27 Mar 2011 5:53am

Aubélia from Kortrijk, Belgium

Een prachtige foto met warme kleuren!

27 Mar 2011 8:09am

Tinx from Kuressaare, Estonia


27 Mar 2011 8:54am

Veronique from Sarrouilles, France

beautiful flower !

27 Mar 2011 9:22am

Sylvie49 capture image from Anjou - Maine et Loire, France

Beautiful flower and beautiful shoot !

27 Mar 2011 10:52am

Marilla from Turku, Finland

Great shot of this attractive flower! Good lighting.

27 Mar 2011 12:28pm

Bertrand Duhamel from Roxton Pond, Quebec, Canada

Great picture and great présentation !

27 Mar 2011 1:38pm

Rayak from Paris, France


27 Mar 2011 2:25pm

RBL from Oxford, United States

Very beautiful!

27 Mar 2011 3:50pm

Co33 from libourne, France

All are so beautifull!!I can't choose!!

27 Mar 2011 4:17pm

Canon EOS 400D
1/1250 second
ISO 200
150 mm