Asparagus aethiopicus


Mant. Pl., 63. 1767.

Common names: Sprenger asparagus-fern emerald-fern
Synonyms: Asparagus sprengeri Regel
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 26. Treatment on page 214. Mentioned on page 213.

Shrubs, sprawling or scrambling; roots fibrous and tuberous. Stems to 2 m, wiry, branches numerous, finely ridged; cladophylls solitary or in fascicles of 3 or more per node, linear, flattened, straight or curved, 8–22 × 2 mm, with single prominent vein. Leaves membranous, 1–2 mm; blade diamond-shaped, attached in middle, tapering to slender apex. Inflorescences in axillary racemes, 5–9(–17)-flowered. Flowers bisexual; perianth rotate to campanulate; tepals white to pale pink, 3–4 × 1.5–2 mm; pedicel 5–8 mm, jointed 2–3 mm above base. Berries red, 5–8 mm. Seed 1. 2n = 40, 60.

Phenology: Flowering spring–summer.
Habitat: Waste places, abandoned gardens
Elevation: 0–100 m


Introduced; Fla., s Africa.


The name Asparagus densiflorus (Kunth) Jessop (Asparagopsis densiflora Kunth) has been misapplied to this species (P. S. Green 1986; W. S. Judd 2001). Asparagus aethiopicus cv. ‘Sprengeri’ is the most common of the asparagus-fern cultivars.

Selected References


Lower Taxa