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Dale W. McNeal

Perennial herb [to shrub] or vine; rhizome short, generally with fleshy tubers. Stem: branchlets leaf-like, many, thread-like or flat, functioning as leaves. Leaf: scale-like, papery, with a spiny spur at base or not. Inflorescence: raceme, umbel, or flowers 1. Flower: bisexual or not, ± white to green-yellow; perianth segments 6, in 2 petal-like whorls, free or ± fused; stamens 6, epipetalous, anther attached near middle; ovary superior, chambers 3. Fruit: berry, spheric, often red or blue. Seed: 1–6, black.
3+ genera depending on interpretation, 320 species: especially northern temperate. —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.

Perennial herb. Inflorescence: pedicels slender, jointed near middle. Flower: stamens ± >= perianth, exserted; style 1, short, slender, stigmas 3.
± 300 species: especially northern temperate. (Greek: ancient name) Asparagus densiflorus (Kunth) Jessop misappl. to A. aethiopicus L., a waif.

Key to Asparagus

A. officinalis L. subsp. officinalis
Erect; rhizome thick, matted; tubers 0. Stem: 1–3 m; branchlets < 1 mm wide. Leaf: spurred. Inflorescence: axillary racemes. Flower: unisexual and bisexual, nodding; perianth 3–7 mm, bell-shaped, green-white. Fruit: 6–8 mm, red.
n=10. Disturbed places, roadsides, fields; generally < 200 m. California Floristic Province, White and Inyo Mountains; native to Europe. Cult for food; naturalized populations scattered. Mar–Sep [Online Interchange]

Previous taxon: Asparagus asparagoides
Next taxon: Asparagus setaceus


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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Asparagus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015

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click for enlargement Asparagus officinalis subsp. officinalis
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© 1995 Saint Mary's College of California

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Asparagus officinalis subsp. officinalis Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.