BOTANICAL NAME Asparagus densifl by fjzhangxiaoquan


Asparagus densiflorus

Asparagus fern

FAMILY: Asparagaceae

ORIGIN: South Africa

                                                         more photos at
Reason for listing as                 Asparagus densiflorus is often grown as a potted plant or used
potentially invasive species:         as a groundcover. It forms tuberous roots, tolerates dry and
                                      poor soils and full sun growing conditions. In mild climates, it
                                      grows in full sun or part shade and can survive periods of
                                      drought and frost.1 Asparagus densiflorus has recently been
                                      found to grow in natural areas or non-cultivated lands in
                                      Southern California. It appears to spread in a similar manner
                                      to a closely related species, Asparagus asparagoides (a highly
                                      invasive plant in San Diego) which spreads by berries. In
                                      Australia, it has invaded coastal, rainforest, frontal dunes,
                                      sclerophyll forest and coastal heath. In Hawaii it has been
                                      found to be rather widespread on the island of Kauii, spreading
                                      along roadsides and invading secondary forest. 2 Even when
                                      used in urban areas, it should be carefully managed. Species
                                      of Asparagus are exploding in areas with similar climates to
                                      that found in Southern California.
Methods of invading natural           Humans have dispersed this plant globally for landscaping and
areas:                                cultivation. The plant carries berries that are attractive to birds
                                      who help spread the plant to natural lands and open spaces.3
Habitat types it invades:             wetlands, riparian, oak woodland
Where invasive in Southern            Mission Valley Preserve3
Potentially invasive varieties        all members of the species Asparagus densiflorus
Varieties not known to be invasive:

Alternative plants to consider:

    California native species:        Fragaria vesca                              California Strawberry
                                      Achillea millefolium                        Yarrow
                                      Vitis girdiana                              Desert Wild Grape
    Non-native species:               Trachelospermum spp.                        Jasmine

  Sunset Western Garden Book, 2001 Edition, p. 205.
  Asparagus densiflorus PIER species info. Accessed February 1, 2007 on the world wide web at
  Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria as accessed on the
World Wide Web April 25th, 2007.

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