Asparagus

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Asparagus

Asparagus
AsparagusPlumosus2.jpg
Genus: Asparagus
Family: Asparagaceae
Type: Perennials
Weediness: Most species are weedy

Asparagus is the name of a genus of plants, a member of the family Asparagaceae (formerly placed in the Liliaceae). There are up to 300 species, all from the Old World, introduced in many countries in both hemispheres and throughout temperate and tropical regions. Many species from Africa are now included in the genera Protasparagus and Myrsiphyllum. However, recent studies have shown that the taxonomic level genera may not be appropriate; instead, division into subgenera or no division at all may be more appropriate.

Description[edit]

They range from herbs to somewhat woody climbers. Most species have flattened stems (phylloclades), that serve the function of leaves. Three species (Asparagus officinalis, "Asparagus schoberioides and Asparagus cochinchinensis) are dioecious species, i.e. with male and female flowers on separate plants. The others may or may not be hermaphroditic.

Growing conditions[edit]

Species[edit]

Uses[edit]

The best known member of the genus is the vegetable asparagus (Asparagus officinalis). Other species of asparagus are grown as ornamental plants. Some species such as Asparagus setaceus have branches that resemble 'ferns', hence they are often called "Asparagus fern" (though they are not true ferns). They are often used for foliage display, and as houseplants. Commonly-grown ornamental species are Asparagus plumosus, Asparagus densiflorus, and Asparagus sprengeri. Some other species have been introduced as weeds, such as Bridal Creeper, Asparagus asparagoides, which is a major weed species in southern Australia.[1][2]

Propagation[edit]

Division or seed.

Pests and diseases[edit]

Fusarium root and crown rot

  • Fusarium monoliforme
  • Fusarium oxysporium asparagi

Rust

  • Asparagus rust, caused by the fungus Puccinia asparagi.

Blight

Aphids

Mealybugs

Bugs

Thrips

Flies

Beetles

Caterpillars

Millipedes

References[edit]

  1. "bridal creeper". weed of the month. CRC weed management. http://www.weeds.crc.org.au/main/wom_bridal_creeper.html. Retrieved 2006-04-30. 
  2. "Bridal creeper, Asparagus asparagoides". CSIRO Division of Entomology. http://www.ento.csiro.au/biocontrol/bridal.html. Retrieved 2006-04-30. 
  • Fellingham, A.C. & Meyer, N.L. 1995. New combinations and a complete list of Asparagus species in southern Africa (Asparagaceae). Bothalia 25: 205-209.
  • Cranshaw, Whitney (2004). Garden Insects of North America: The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Bugs. Princeton University Press. pp. 581.