One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A Eurasian plant of the lily family, typically having long slender leaves and flowers borne on a spike.
Genera Asphodelus and Asphodeline, family Liliaceae. See also bog asphodel
- ‘Among them are turkey beard, golden-crest, and yellow asphodel.’
- ‘The sweet herbal aroma of bog myrtle drifts from the shallow mires that harbour a tangle of willows and silver-barked birch or are spattered yellow with asphodels.’
- ‘A large, yellow-flowered bladderwort sends stems several inches above the surface of the water, and the yellow asphodel is spectacular in late June and early July.’
- ‘Hopping across fallen blocks of masonry, dancing over the asphodels, offering piggy-back rides was one way of selling ancient history to two young girls.’
- ‘The plant, known as turkeybeard, or mountain asphodel, is a rare species of lily.’
2literary An immortal flower said to grow in the Elysian fields.
Late Middle English: via Latin from Greek asphodelos; compare with daffodil.
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