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Museo dell'intreccio mediterraneo di Castelsardo

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This perennial plant belongs to the Liliaceae family, and in Sardinia it grows lushly in open fields, both at sea level and in higher areas. It has short compact tuberous roots with several tapered tubercles jutting out. It has greenish blue radical leaves which sprout with the autumn rains. Its slender tufted leaves, 2 to 4 cm wide and up to 70 cm long, narrow towards the pointed apex. Stem is cylindrical and grows up to 120 cm. Its very numerous flowers (named tarabucciu in Castelsardo dialect) are white with a central reddish-brown streak, and are placed on a panicle inflorescence. Asphodel blooms from March to May, depending on the altitude.

Women harvest stems manually in March/April, when the first flowers begin to bloom: this is when stems are most malleable but resistant and thus most suitable for weaving. Sectioned and dried asphodel stems are used for warping and weaving food containers such as baskets, hampers, corbule, and grain baskets. Asphodel weaving is mainly done in Planargia (Flussio, Tinnura, Montresta), Barbagia (Olzai, Ollolai) and Ogliastra (Urzulei).


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