Asparagus Fern

Family: Asparagaceae

This large genus includes perennial herbs, shrubs and woody vines, either erect or climbing. Many species arc grown for their decorative qualities, either to accompany cut flowers or as indoor pot plants. The leaves are usually needle-like, or in the form of fine phyllodes, and the flowers are small and inconspicuous. They are mostly tender and grown in a cool or intermediate greenhouse or conservatory or as house plants.


A. densiflorus 'Myersii' (Synonym: A. meyeri) has erect or spreading stems up to 60 cm (24 in), forming long, narrow plumes of rich green foliage.

A. densiflorus and its cultivars have fine feather-like foliage on upright or trailing stems. Best known is the A. densiflorus Sprengeri Group which is very tough and can be grown outdoors in zone 9. It has light green, needle-like foliage and prickles on trailing stems. The tiny white flowers are not very conspicuous and are followed by red berries. Both of the above species make very attractive indoor plants.

A. officinalis, the edible asparagus, has erect, herbaceous stems, to about 1.5 m (5 ft), and branched, feathery leaves. The greenish white flowers are small and the females produce red berries (see Asparagus, A. officinalis).

A. setaceus (Synonym: A. plumosus), the common asparagus fern, is a vigorous climber with sharp prickles and dark green feathery leaves. It has very small white flowers and black berries.


A normal potting mix suits asparagus plants grown in containers, provided the mix is kept moist. They grow well indoors if given sufficient light and occasional liquid fertilizer or plant pills. A. setaceus (Synonym: A. plumosus) does well outside in zone 9 in a sheltered, semi-shaded position and A. densiflorus Sprengeri Group will also survive in zone 9 in a sunny position but needs some protection.


Frost-free Climates for most.

Asparagus      Asperula