asparagus fern caterpillar

Asparagus (genus)

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.

Selected species

Pests and diseases


External links

  • 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

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