This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
A distinct genus of plants with fleshy fasciculated roots, usually radical tufted narrow or triquetrous leaves, and showy yellow or white flowers. Perianth of 6 free equal spreading segments. Stamens 6, hypogynous, alternately long and short. Natives of the South of Europe.* Name said to be derived from a, not, and to supplant, in allusion to the handsome flowers.
1. A. luteus. King's Spear. - This is perhaps the handsomest and at the same time the best known species. Stem leafy, about 3 or 4 feet high. Leaves small, triangular, pointed, dark green, marked with lines of a paler tint. Flowers in erect dense racemes of a bright yellow, appearing from May to July.
2. A. ramosus. - Stem much branched, 4 or 5 feet high, leafless. Leaves sharply keeled below, channelled above, nearly 2 feet long. Racemes numerous, loose; flowers white with a reddish stripe on each segment. May to July.
3. A. fistulosus. - A very distinct species with a leafless stem about three feet high, and tufted fistular leaves, and white less conspicuous flowers. May to July.