Common name: Asparagus Fern
Asparagus virgatus Baker APNI*
Synonyms: Protasparagus virgatus (Baker) Oberm. APNI*
Description: Erect herb or subshrub with softish perennial stems 0.4–0.8 m high, spines absent; crown present, roots fibrous.
Leaves scale-like. Cladodes 3–6 in each axil, terete, 3–15 mm long, c. 0.5–1 mm wide, glabrous.
Flowers axillary, solitary; pedicels 7–12 mm long, jointed about halfway. Tepals 3–4 mm long, greenish white.
Berry ± ovoid, 4–6 mm diam., orange; seed 1.
Flowering: chiefly spring–summer; fruits most of year.
Distribution and occurrence: Cultivated as an ornamental; rarely naturalized in the Sydney district; possibly naturalised on the NC; also in SE Qld. Native of eastern and southern Africa.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC
Other Australian states: *Qld
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.