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Useful Tropical Plants

Asparagus setaceus

(Kunth) Jessop.

Asparagaceae

+ Synonyms

Asparagopsis setacea Kunth

Asparagus asiaticus amharicus Pic.Serm.

Asparagus lujae De Wild.

Asparagus plumosus Baker

Asparagus zanzibaricus Baker

Protasparagus plumosus (Baker) Oberm.

Protasparagus setaceus (Kunth) Oberm.

Common Name: Asparagus Fern

Asparagus setaceus
Base of the plant, showing the prickles on the stems
Photograph by: Forest and Kim Starr
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
Asparagus setaceus Asparagus setaceus Asparagus setaceus Asparagus setaceus

General Information

Asparagus fern is an evergreen climbing plant producing stems up to 5 metres long from a tuberous rootstock.
The plant is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in the tropics, often as a potted plant[
302
Title
Tropical Ornamentals; A Guide
Publication
 
Author
Whistler. W. Arthur.
Publisher
Timber Press Inc. Oregon.
Year
2000
ISBN
0-88192-448-2
Description
An excellent little guide to some of the more commonly cultivated ornamental plants of the Tropics, often giving some information on the plants other uses.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
326
Title
Flora of Zimbabwe
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Over 2,000 species as of 2009 (and growing). Each record usually has at least one photo with a botanical description of the plant, range, habitat etc. A very useful site.

Range

Eastern and southern Africa - Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, S. Africa.

Habitat

Thickets and forests[
326
Title
Flora of Zimbabwe
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Over 2,000 species as of 2009 (and growing). Each record usually has at least one photo with a botanical description of the plant, range, habitat etc. A very useful site.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *
HabitEvergreen Climber
Height3.00 m
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details


Easily grown in any good garden soil[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Prefers a moist soil in a partially shaded position[
302
Title
Tropical Ornamentals; A Guide
Publication
 
Author
Whistler. W. Arthur.
Publisher
Timber Press Inc. Oregon.
Year
2000
ISBN
0-88192-448-2
Description
An excellent little guide to some of the more commonly cultivated ornamental plants of the Tropics, often giving some information on the plants other uses.
].
The plant is commonly grown as an ornamental, and has escaped from cultivation in many areas. It is spread mainly by birds, who eat the fruit then void the seed. It also spreads in situ by means of long, slender rhizomes[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
]. It has become a serious weed in some places, where it can invade native forests[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
].
Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Edible Uses

Young shoots[
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption.
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
]. No more details are given but it is likely that they are cooked and used like asparagus[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as ripe. Pre-soak for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in pots. It usually germinates in 3 - 6 weeks at 25°c[
134
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 2.
Publication
 
Author
Rice. G. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1988
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. An interesting article on Ensete ventricosum.
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on until large enough to plant out into their permanent positions[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Division of the tuberous rootstock.
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-06-24. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Asparagus+setaceus>

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