In the United States, we call this perennial herb Summer Asphodel. In Sicily, where during these months of February and March it grows seemingly on every hillside making many hungry sheep happy, it is called Asfodelo Mediterraneo.
The snow-white flowers with a thin red-brown ribbon down their centers were associated with Persephone and the Underworld in ancient Greek mythology. In fact, our dark goddess is often depicted with a garland of Asphodel upon her head. Perhaps it represents her duality as innocent maiden who comes of age to be a sage queen–one who possesses a great sensuality running through her core? The two- to five-foot stalk thrives, after all, when this feminine deity returns to the upper world each year after spending time with her husband Hades.
Its growth is a celebration of life in Sicily!