Genus of over 200 species of perennial, mostly evergreen, shrubs and climbing plants. It contains the cultivated, edible, vegetable Asparagus officinalis, known as asparagus. Some are grown as ornamental garden plants. Most have spindle-shaped tuberous rootstocks, scale-like leaves, sometimes with straight or curved spines. Pale pink flowers are followed by red, orange or purple berries which are poisonous.