Wild Asparagus

Asparagus aethiopicus

Asparagus Fern, Sprenger's Asparagus Fern, Sprenger's-Fern, Emerald-Feather

profile iconAsparagus setaceus Leaves 2760px
by Ram-Man (CC-BY-SA-3.0)
1 of 7
profile iconAsparagus setaceus Leaves 2760px
by Ram-Man (CC-BY-SA-3.0)
1 of 7
Asparagus aethiopicus is a hardy evergreen trailing groundcover that grows branches up to 1m long. Not a true fern, but often discribed as one. It can be utilised in both full sun or shade in large containers or hanging baskets. Variety 'Cwebe' can only be grown in semi-shade. Flowers are often small white or pink and sweetly scented, flowering erratically once every 2-3 years. They have bright red berries that attract birds and have a low toxicity if consumed by humans. Fairly drought tolerant once established and tolerate different soil types although it prefers loamy soil. Used in cut flower arrangements and tubers are traditionally used as a supplementary food source in summer. Versatile evergreen garden plant or pot plant.

Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Summer, Autumn, Winter

Fruiting time

Autumn

Harvesting

Harvest fruits for propagation after it has flowered.

Propagation

Seed

Sow seeds in Spring one and a half times deeper than the size of the seed. Sow in a sandy soil mix and keep moist.

Division

Divide the thick tubersroots and branches with enough of each in the new clumb.

Tubers

The fleshy roots form tubers that stores enough reserves for a new plant - use them to quickly multiply, but give help in keeping moist and a good nutrient-rich soil.

Special features

Attracts birds

Drought resistant

Underground roots store water in thick tubers.

Pot plant

Excellent hanging basket plants where the green foilage will tumble over the sides.

Attractive flowers

Indoor plant

Special features

Origin

South Africa

Natural climate

Coastal regions to rocky areas and woodlands.

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Full Shade, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Loam, Sand, Clay

Soil PH preference

Neutral, Acid

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Notes

Versatile evergreen garden plant or pot plant. Roots can be eaten.

Personality

Family

Asparagaceae

Flower colour

Pink, White

Scent

None

Problems

Little pests or diseases.

Companion plants

Clivias sp., Agapanthus sp.

Credits

profile iconAsparagus aethiopicus
by Livhuwani Auldrean Nkuna, Millennium Seed Bank Partnership (MSBP), and Alice Notten, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, February 2018 (Copyright South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa)

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