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Asparagus officinalis L.
Family Asparagaceae
Common name: Asparagus

Asparagus officinalis L. APNI*

Description: Erect dioecious perennial herb with softish annual stems 0.5–1.5 m high; with central crown and fibrous roots.

Leaves scale-like. Cladodes 3–7 in each axil, terete, mostly 10–25 mm long, 0.5–1 mm diam., of unequal length, glabrous.

Flowers solitary in axils of scales, unisexual; pedicels 6–15 mm long, jointed in upper half; tepals 4–6 mm long, greenish white, persistent.

Berry ± globose, 5–10 mm diam., red; seeds usually 3–6.


Flower
Photo J. R. Hosking

Fruit
Photo J. R. Hosking

Other photo
Photo J. R. Hosking

Flowering: Spring–summer; fruits until June.

Distribution and occurrence: Native of Eur. Commonly cultivated for its edible stems; occasionally naturalized in surrounding districts.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *CT, *ST, *NWS, *CWS, *NWP, *SWP
Other Australian states: *Qld *Vic. *W.A. *S.A.
AVH map***

Text by GJ Harden (1993); edited KL Wilson (Jan 2014; 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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