Asparagus L.

The Greek name for plants with edible young shoots.

Perennial or rhizomatous herbs or climbers with thick or tuberous roots. Leaves reduced to scales subtending leaf-like or needle-like cladodes. Flowers uni- or bisexual, open to tubular, radially symmetrical, stalked, stalks articulated. Inflorescences axillary to terminal, 1-many-flowered racemes. Tepals 3+3, free. Stamens 6, attached to tepal bases, free or running together to enclose the ovary in a tube. Fruit a berry. Seeds angular, black. Syn. Protasparagus Oberm., Myrsiphyllum Willd.

Grown for the attractive, often delicate, fern-like foliage, often in hanging baskets. Several species are noxious weeds. Previously 3 genera have been recognised on sexuality and flower structure, but these are now all placed in Asparagus.

160-290 species from Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Genus of the commercial edible asparagus, A. officinalis.

Leaves replaced by cladodes; flowers numerous, small, greenish-white; berries with black seeds.

Jessop (1966), Obermeyer (1984a, b), Conran & Forster (1986), Malcomber & Sebsebe (1993). POPULAR: Dourado & England (2001).

Source: Conran, J. (2005). Asparagaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Asparagales
family       Asparagaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Asparagus aethiopicus L.
species         Asparagus asparagoides (L.) Druce
species         Asparagus falcatus L.
species         Asparagus officinalis L.
species         Asparagus retrofractus L.
species         Asparagus scandens Thunb.
species         Asparagus setaceus (Kunth) Jessop