The genus Asparagus in the plant family Asparagaceae comprises up to 300 species. The most well-known species is the edible Asparagus officinalis, commonly referred to as just asparagus. Other members of the genus are grown as ornamental plants. Species such as Asparagus setaceus are finely branched and are misleadingly known as "asparagus fern". The most popular ornamental species are Asparagus plumosus, Asparagus densiflorus, and Asparagus sprengeri.
Many species from Africa are now included in the genera Protasparagus and Myrsiphyllum. Species in this genus vary in their appearance, from herbs to somewhat woody climbers. Most species have photosynthetic flattened stems, called phylloclades, instead of true leaves. Asparagus officinalis, Asparagus schoberioides, and Asparagus cochinchinensis are dioecious species, with male and female flowers on separate plants.
Asparagus asparagoides, known as bridal creeper, is a problematic weed in southern Australia.
- Asparagus acutifolius
- Asparagus aethiopicus (= Protasparagus aethiopicus)
- Asparagus africanus (= Protasparagus africanus) - African Asparagus
- Asparagus asparagoides (= Myrsiphyllum asparagoides) - Smilax, African Asparagus Fern, (Austr.) Bridal Creeper
- Asparagus cochinchinensis
- Asparagus declinatus - Foxtail Asparagus Fern, (Austr.) Bridal vein
- Asparagus densiflorus (= Protasparagus densiflorus) - Ground Asparagus, Asparagus Fern, (S. Afr.) Emerald Fern, Basket Asparagus
- Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri' (= Protasparagus densiflorus 'Sprenger') - Sprenger's Asparagus
- Asparagus falcatus
- Asparagus flagellaris
- Asparagus macowanii (= Protasparagus macowanii)
- Asparagus maritimus
- Asparagus officinalis - Asparagus
- Asparagus officinalis officinalis - Garden Asparagus
- Asparagus officinalis prostratus
- Asparagus plumosus (= Protasparagus plumosus ?) - Asparagus Fern, Florist's Fern, (Austr.) Climbing Asparagus
- Asparagus Plumosus Nanus is a greenhouse variety, bearing fern-like foliage.
- Asparagus racemosus
- Asparagus scandens
- Asparagus schoberioides
- Asparagus setaceus (= Protasparagus setaceus) - Fern Asparagus, Lace Fern
- Asparagus sprengeri - a greenhouse climber with light and elegant foliage
- Asparagus tenuifolius
- Asparagus umbellatus
- Asparagus virgatus
Pests and diseases
- Asparagus Beetle (Crioceris asparagi)
- Spotted Asparagus Beetle (Crioceris duodecimpunctata)
- Asparagus Fern Caterpillar, also known as Beet Armyworm, Spodoptera exigua.
- Asparagus Fly Platyparaea poeciloptera, a fruit fly
- Fusarium root and crown rot, caused by two species of fungi, Fusarium monoliforme and Fusarium oxysporium asparagi
- Asparagus rust, caused by the fungus Puccinia asparagi
- Botrytis blight, caused by the fungus Botrytis cinerea
- The larvae of some Lepidoptera species have been recorded feeding on Asparagus. These include Coleophora lineapulvella, Ghost Moth, The Nutmeg, Small Fan-footed Wave, and Turnip Moth
- Fellingham, A.C. & Meyer, N.L. 1995. New combinations and a complete list of Asparagus species in southern Africa (Asparagaceae). Bothalia 25: 205-209.
- Sorting Asparagus names - multilingual listing of the Asparagus species
- Photo of Asparagus Beetle