I simply happen to like the serene beauty of wildflowers. The Common Asphodel (Asphodelus aestivus), for instance, is delightful and delicate. This plant is very prolific in the Balearic Isles and it is flowering right now. Homer liked the plant as well. In his Odyssey, the plant is subject of an eulogy: ‘The heroes of Elysium, as living in a meadow covered with Asphodel’.
And it is useful as well; bees just love its nectar and find this flower useful for making wildflower honey. Mallorcan shoemakers find the pulverized plant’s dried tuber rhyzomes useful for making a strong glue when mixed with cold water. The same glue is also used in the process of bookbinding. The Asphodel fibre is also used in the making of cord for seat coverings of chairs and stools.
This plant has one of the earliest recorded histories of any species, having been given a detailed description already around 800 B. C. The Greeks and Romans used different parts of the plant in the treatment of several diseases, but in modern medicine, the Asphodel does not seem to be used any longer. The tuberous root, gathered at the end of its first year, is said to be acrid, antispasmodic, and diuretic.
You may not believe me but, parts of the plant are edible as well. The root is rich in starch. Dried and boiled in water it yields a mucilaginous matter which can be mixed with grain to make a nutritious bread. Boiling destroys the acrid principle in the tubers, rendering them quite pleasant to eat. The flowering stalk can be eaten when cooked and the seeds can be eaten when roasted.
The photo was taken near Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: May 7th, 2010. The time was 15:45:11.