Asparagus fern Asparagus setaceus, copyright Forest & Kim Starr.

Belongs within: Liliidae.

The genus Asparagus includes the cultivated asparagus A. officinalis and related species. Members of the genus have reduced, scale-like leaves, whose overall appearance give many species the vernacular name of asparagus ferns.

Characters (from Healy & Edgar 1980): Evergreen or summer-green perennials, roots fleshy and cylindric or tuberous. Stems erect or climbing, branched, often woody. Leaves reduced, scale-like, often with basal spine, with solitary or fascicled needle- or leaf-like cladodes. Flowers small, campanulate, usually axillary or terminal, solitary or in small fascicles, or racemose on special branches lacking cladodes; pedicels articulate; segments 6, more or less similar, free or nearly so, spreading above. Berry one- to several-seeded. Seeds globose or flat on one side.

<==Asparagus [Asparagineae]
    |--A. acutifolius PT98
    |--A. aphyllus Linnaeus 1753 PL04
    |    |--A. a. ssp. aphyllus PT98
    |    `--A. a. ssp. orientalis PT98
    |--A. asparagoides (Linnaeus) Wight 1909 HE80
    |--A. cooperi [=Protasparagus cooperi] K02
    |--A. laricinus [=Protasparagus laricinus] K02
    |--A. officinalis Linnaeus 1753 HE80
    |--A. racemosus PP07
    |--A. scandens Thunberg 1794 HE80
    |--A. setaceus (Kunth) Jessop 1966 [incl. A. plumosus] HE80
    `--A. tenuifolius H91

*Type species of generic name indicated


[HE80] Healy, A. J., & E. Edgar. 1980. Flora of New Zealand vol. III. Adventive cyperaceous, petalous and spathaceous monocotyledons. P. D. Hasselberg, Government Printer: Wellington (New Zealand).

[H91] Hubálek, Z. 1991. Biogeographic indication of natural foci of tick-borne infections. In Dusbábek, F. & V. Bukva (eds) Modern Acarology: Proceedings of the VIII International Congress of Acarology, held in České Budĕjovice, Czechoslovakia, 6–11 August 1990 vol. 1 pp. 255-260. SPB Academic Publishing: The Hague.

[K02] Krüger, M. 2002. Revision of the Afrotropical Ennominae of the Drepanogynis group IV: the genus Drepanogynis Guenée (Lepidoptera: Geometridae). Transvaal Museum Monograph 13: 1-220.

[PP07] Pandey, R. P. & P. M. Padhye. 2007. Studies on phytodiversity of Arid Machia Safari Park-Kailana in Jodhpur (Rajasthan). Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 49 (1-4): 15-78.

[PT98] Panitsa, M., & D. Tzanoudakis. 1998. Contribution to the study of the Greek flora: Flora and vegetation of the E Aegean islands Agathonisi and Pharmakonisi. Willdenowia 28: 95-116.

[PL04] Pohl, G., & I. Lenski. 2004. Zur Verbreitung und Vergesellschaftung von Pennisetum orientale Rich. in Nordeuböa (Griechenland) (Poaceae, Paniceae). Senckenbergiana Biologica 83 (2): 209-223.

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