Asphodeline lutea
Common Name: king's spear
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Xanthorrhoeaceae
Native Range: Southeastern Europe to Turkey
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Fruit: Showy

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Prefers deep loams with good drainage. Site plants in protected locations with winter mulch in USDA Zones 5 and 6A (St. Louis).

Noteworthy Characteristics

King’s spear is a rhizomatous perennial that is native to the eastern Mediterranean. It features a clump of narrow, linear, grassy, gray-green leaves to 12” tall from which rises in spring a conical, leafy flower stalk to 3-4’ that is topped by a dense cylindrical raceme (to 12-18” long) of fragrant, large-bracted, yellow flowers (to 1” across). Flowers give way to globose green seed pods that mature to an attractive brown. Other common names for this plant include Jacob’s rod and asphodel.

Problems

No significant insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Best in groups or massed. Perennial borders, cottage gardens or wild gardens. Stems with dried flowers or fruits are valued for dried arrangements.