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Xerophyllum asphodeloides (Eastern turkeybeard)
Cressler, Alan

Xerophyllum asphodeloides

Xerophyllum asphodeloides (L.) Nutt.

Eastern Turkeybeard, Turkeybeard

Liliaceae (Lily Family)

Synonym(s): Helonias asphodeloides


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Small white flowers in a dense, elongated cluster on a stem with short, bristle-like leaves toward top and many long, grass-like leaves in a dense clump at base.

Xerophyllum has only two species, this and Beargrass (X. tenax), a similar plant of western North America. The genus name, from the Greek xeros ("dry") and phyllon ("leaf"), refers to the dry, wiry, basal leaves of this showy plant. It is difficult to cultivate and seldom blooms in gardens.


From the Image Gallery

4 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 5 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul


USA: AL , DE , GA , KY , MD , NC , NJ , SC , TN , VA , WV
Native Distribution: New Jersey, Maryland, and West Virginia south to Georgia and west to Alabama and Tennessee.
Native Habitat: Dry sandy pinelands and mountain woods in strongly acidic soil.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Xerophyllum asphodeloides in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Xerophyllum asphodeloides in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Xerophyllum asphodeloides


Record Modified: 2023-04-12
Research By: TWC Staff

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