Common name: Snakefeather, Asparagus Fern
Asparagus scandens Thunb. APNI*
Synonyms: Myrsiphyllum scandens (Thunb.) Oberm. APNI*
Description: Climber with scrambling wiry perennial stems to c. 2 m long, without thorns; with small central crown, roots fibrous or with slender tubers.
Leaves scale-like. Cladodes 3 in each axil, of unequal length, ± linear to falcate, 5–15 mm long, 0.5–1.5 mm wide, flattened, apiculate, tapering at base, glabrous, 1-veined.
Flowers 1–3 in each axil; pedicels 6–10 mm long, jointed in lower half; tepals 3–4 mm long, white to pinkish.
Berry ± ovoid; 5–7 mm diam., orange- red; seed 1.
Flowering: chiefly winter and early spring; fruits until summer.
Distribution and occurrence: Cultivated as an ornamental; occasionally naturalized in the Sydney region and North and South Coast; also other States; a serious weed in New Zealand. Native of S Afr.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC
Other Australian states: *Qld *Vic. *Tas. *S.A. *W.A.
Text by GJ Harden (1993); edited KL Wilson (Oct 2014; June 2015)
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.