At the moment the asphodel are in bloom everywhere around Fethiye. But did you know that they gave their name to a section of the ancient Greek underworld?

According to Wikipedia:

“The Asphodel Meadows is where the souls of people who lived lives of equal parts of good and evil rested.

It essentially was a plain of Asphodel flowers, which were the favourite food of the Greek dead. It is described as a ghostly place that is an even less perfect version of life on earth.”

Believing the dead ate the asphodel it was planted amongst tombs.

However, the asphodel was also eaten by the living – its bulbs when boiled produce a food similar to the potato.

Dried and ground they yield a flour which was used to bake bread.

Indeed, the asphodel was eaten in Mediterranean countries until the potato was introduced.That occurred in most places during the 17th century, so asphodel has been off the menu for some time.

It also had medicinal uses as a diuretic, and an aid to reduce swellings. But it is not found in modern herbal medicine chests.

In fact the poor asphodel would seem to have had its day in many respects, but we can still admire them, growing in the poorest of soil and being a reliable indicator of spring.

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