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Uses

Toxic parts

Large quantities of the shoots can irritate the kidneys[1][2]. The berries are mildly poisonous[3].

Edible uses

Notes

Young shoots - raw or cooked[2, 5, 15, 16, 27, K]. Considered a gourmet food[4], the shoots are harvested in the spring. We find them very acceptable raw in salads, with a hint of onion in their flavour[K]. They are normally boiled or steamed and used as a vegetable[K]. Male plants produce the best shoots[5]. Do not over-harvest the plant because this would weaken it in the following year. The shoots are a good source of protein and dietary fibre[6]. Roasted seeds are a coffee substitute[7][8][9].

Unknown part

Material uses

The plant contains asparagusic acid, which has nematocidal properties[10].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Asparagus has been cultivated for over 2,000 years as a vegetable and medicinal herb[10]. Both the roots and the shoots can be used medicinally, they have a restorative and cleansing effect on the bowels, kidneys and liver[10].

The plant is antispasmodic, aperient, cardiac, demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic, sedative and tonic[11][7][12][6][13]. The freshly expressed juice is used[11]. The root is diaphoretic, strongly diuretic and laxative[14][15][16]. An infusion is used in the treatment of jaundice and congestive torpor of the liver[13]. The strongly diuretic action of the roots make it useful in the treatment of a variety of urinary problems including cystitis[17]. It is also used in the treatment of cancer[15]. The roots are said to be able to lower blood pressure[18][16]. The roots are harvested in late spring, after the shoots have been cut as a food crop, and are dried for later use[18].

The seeds possess antibiotic activity[16]. Another report says that the plant contains asparagusic acid which is nematocidal and is used in the treatment of schistosomiasis[10].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - pre-soak for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in spring or as soon as the seed is ripe in early autumn in a greenhouse. It usually germinates in 3 - 6 weeks at 25°c[19]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a sunny position in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer[K]. Division in early spring as the plant comes into growth.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Asparagus officinalis. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Easily grown in any good garden soil[20]. Prefers a rich well-drained sandy loam and a sunny position[5][20][21][10]. Prefers a pH of 6.5 or higher[22], though it tolerates a pH in the range 4.3 to 8.2.

Asparagus is often cultivated as a luxury vegetable, there are some named varieties[20][9]. Well-tended plants can be long-lived, an asparagus bed can last for well over 20 years. Asparagus is a good companion plant for tomatoes, parsley and basil[23][1][6]. When grown together, tomatoes help to protect asparagus from the asparagus beetle[6]. Asparagus is said to repel the nematodes that can infect tomatoes[6] (see the report below on the plants other uses). A good bee plant[24].

Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Asparagus officinalis. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Asparagus officinalis.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Asparagus officinalis
Genus
Asparagus
Family
Asparagaceae
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
4
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Salinity
  • Strong wind
  • Maritime exposure
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
None listed.
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
?
Herbaceous or Woody
?
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
?
Mature Size
Fertility
Pollinators
Flower Colour
?
Flower Type

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References

  1. ? 1.01.1 Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening. Garden Way, Vermont, USA. ISBN 0-88266-064-0 (1978-00-00)
  2. ? Elias. T. and Dykeman. P. A Field Guide to N. American Edible Wild Plants. Van Nostrand Reinhold ISBN 0442222009 (1982-00-00)
  3. ? RHS Lily Group. Lilies and Related Plants. ()
  4. ? 4.04.1 Bianchini. F., Corbetta. F. and Pistoia. M. Fruits of the Earth. ()
  5. ? 5.05.15.2 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
  6. ? 6.06.16.26.36.46.56.6 Allardice.P. A - Z of Companion Planting. Cassell Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-304-34324-2 (1993-00-00)
  7. ? 7.07.17.27.3 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
  8. ? 8.08.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
  9. ? 9.09.19.2 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
  10. ? 10.010.110.210.310.410.510.6 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
  11. ? 11.011.111.2 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
  12. ? 12.012.1 Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. ()
  13. ? 13.013.113.2 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
  14. ? 14.014.1 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
  15. ? 15.015.115.2 Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
  16. ? 16.016.116.216.3 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
  17. ? 17.017.1 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
  18. ? 18.018.118.2 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
  19. ? Rice. G. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 2. Thompson and Morgan. (1988-00-00)
  20. ? 20.020.120.2 Simons. New Vegetable Growers Handbook. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-050-0 (1977-00-00)
  21. ? Vilmorin. A. The Vegetable Garden. Ten Speed Press ISBN 0-89815-041-8 ()
  22. ? 22.022.1 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  23. ? Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants. Watkins (1979-00-00)
  24. ? International Bee Research Association. Garden Plants Valuable to Bees. International Bee Research Association. (1981-00-00)
  25. ? Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PFAFimport-17

"image:AsparagusOfficinalisWild.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

Facts about "Asparagus officinalis"RDF feed
Article is incompleteYes +
Article requires citationsNo +
Article requires cleanupYes +
Belongs to familyAsparagaceae +
Belongs to genusAsparagus +
Has common nameAsparagus +
Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
Has edible partUnknown part + and Stem +
Has edible useCoffee substitute + and Unknown use +
Has environmental toleranceMaritime exposure +, High wind + and Salinity +
Has fertility typeSelf sterile + and Bee +
Has flowers of typeDioecious +
Has hardiness zone4 +
Has imageAsparagusOfficinalisWild.jpg +
Has lifecycle typePerennial +
Has material partUnknown part +
Has material useInsecticide +
Has mature height1.5 +
Has mature width0.75 +
Has medicinal partUnknown part +
Has medicinal useAntibiotic +, Antispasmodic +, Aperient +, Cancer +, Cardiac +, Demulcent +, Diaphoretic +, Diuretic +, Laxative +, Sedative + and Tonic +
Has primary imageAsparagusOfficinalisWild.jpg +
Has salinity toleranceTolerant +
Has search nameasparagus officinalis + and x +
Has shade toleranceLight shade +
Has soil ph preferenceVery acid +, Acid +, Neutral +, Alkaline + and Very alkaline +
Has soil teclayture preferenceClay +
Has soil teloamyture preferenceLoamy +
Has soil tesandyture preferenceSandy +
Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
Has sun preferenceFull sun +
Has taxonomy nameAsparagus officinalis +
Has water requirementsmoderate +
Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
Tolerates maritime exposureYes +
Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
Tolerates windYes +
Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +