Asparagus Fern, Sprenger's Asparagus Fern, Sprenger's-Fern, Emerald-Feather
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.
Summer, Autumn, Winter
Harvest fruits for propagation after it has flowered.
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.
Divide the thick tubersroots and branches with enough of each in the new clumb.
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.
Underground roots store water in thick tubers.
Excellent hanging basket plants where the green foilage will tumble over the sides.
Coastal regions to rocky areas and woodlands.
Full Sun, Full Shade, Partial Shade, Partial Sun
Loam, Sand, Clay
Soil PH preference
Versatile evergreen garden plant or pot plant. Roots can be eaten.
Little pests or diseases.
Clivias sp., Agapanthus sp.
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)