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Asparagus africanus Lam.
Family Asparagaceae
Common name: Climbing Asparagus

Asparagus africanus Lam. APNI*

Synonyms: Protasparagus africanus (Lam.) Oberm. APNI*

Description: Perennial climber or sub-shrub with woody perennial stems 8–12 m long, branches and cladodes spirally arranged; axillary spines on older stems to 10 mm long; with a central crown, with roots rather fleshy (no distinct tubers).

Leaves scale-like. Cladodes 7–12 in each axil, terete, 8–15 mm long, c. 0.5 mm wide, glabrous.

Flowers axillary, 1-several; pedicels 5–10 mm long, jointed towards base. Tepals 3–4 mm long, white.

Berry more or less globose, 5–6 mm diam., orange-red; seed 1.


Illustration
C. Wardrop

Fruit
Photo Karen L Wilson

Herbarium
Sheet

Flowering: Chiefly spring; fruits most of the year.

Distribution and occurrence: Cultivated as an ornamental; sometimes naturalized in coastal districts north from Coffs Harbour. Native of S Africa.
NSW subdivisions: *NC
Other Australian states: *Qld
AVH map***

This species has become a troublesome smothering weed in drier rainforest in northern parts of the State.

Text by GJ Harden (1993); edited KL Wilson (Oct 2014)
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW vol. 4 (1993)


APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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