Family: Asphodel [Xanthorrhoeaceae]






Some of the Genera (Simethis and Kniphofia) in this family were formerly within the Lily Family.

The following Families have all been subsumed into this the Xanthorrhoeaceae (Asphodel) Family:

  • Aloeaceae (Aloe)
  • Asphodelaceae (Asphodel)
  • Hemerocallidaceae (Day-Lily)
  • Phormiacea (New-Zealand Flaxes)

The Asphodel Family has no relation to the Bog Asphodel Family (Nartheciaceae)

[KNIPHOFIA] Red-hot-Pokers

Greater Red-hot-Poker (Kniphofia praecox) Photo: © RWD

[PHORMIUM] New-Zealand Flax

New-Zealand Flax (Phormium tenax) Photo: © RWD


Day-lilies are not related to Lilies (Lilium) although they do appear to have the same number of petals which are large, re-curved, colourful and showy. They are more likely to be found in a garden setting although they do escape, sometimes en-masse especially in Scotland. They also seem to enjoy old lead mines, especially in the Mendips which are chalky/limey. The Yellow Day-lily is fragrant, but the Orange Day-lily odourless.

They acquire their name from the fact that each flower itself lasts but a day and is gone, but there are others ready to open and take their place such that they could put on a show over two or three months if there was a large population of them.

Orange Day-Lily (Hemerocallis fulva) Photo: © RWD

[ASPHODELUS] White Asphodel

White Asphodel (Asphodelus albus) Photo: © Barbara Blackwell

Family: Asphodel [Xanthorrhoeaceae]

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