Asphodeline lutea
Common Name: king's spear 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asphodelaceae
Native Range: Northern Africa, western Asia, southeastern Europe
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


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

Asphodeline lutea commonly called 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.

Genus name is a modification of the closely related genus Asphodelus.

Specific epithet means yellow.


No significant insect or disease problems.


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