Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Dale W. McNeal, except as specified

Perennial to trees, from membranous bulb, fibrous corm, scaly rhizome, or erect caudex
Stem generally underground
Leaves generally basal, often withering early, alternate, generally ± linear
Inflorescence various, generally bracted
Flower generally bisexual, generally radial; perianth often showy, segments generally 6 in two petal-like whorls (outer sometimes sepal-like), free or fused at base; stamens 6 (or 3 + generally 3 ± petal-like staminodes), filaments sometimes attached to perianth or fused into a tube or crown; ovary superior or inferior, chambers 3, placentas generally axile, style generally 1, stigmas generally 3
Fruit: generally capsule, loculicidal or septicidal (berry or nut)
Genera in family: ± 300 genera, 4600 species: especially ± dry temp and subtropical; many cultivated for ornamental or food; some TOXIC. Here includes genera sometimes treated in Agavaceae, Amaryllidaceae, and other families.


Perennial, ± dioecious; rhizome generally with fleshy tubers
Stem erect to ± climbing, much-branched; branchlets flat or thread-like, functioning as leaves
Leaves scale-like, papery, generally with a spiny spur at base
Inflorescence: raceme or umbel; pedicels slender, jointed
Flower small, white to greenish yellow; perianth segments 6 in 2 petal-like whorls, free or ± fused; stamens 6, epipetalous, ± = perianth; ovary superior, chambers 3, style 1, short, slender, stigmas 3
Fruit: berry, spheric
Seeds 1–6, black
Species in genus: ± 300 species: especially n temp
Etymology: (Greek: ancient name)


A. asparagoides (L.) Druce

Roots with fleshy tubers
Stem 1–5 m, twining; branchlets spreading to reflexed, leaf-like, 6–20 mm wide; young stems simple, slender
Leaves: spurs at base 0
Inflorescence: pedicels narrow, jointed above
Flower 5–7 mm, drooping, perianth spreading to reflexed, greenish white
Fruit 6–8 mm, red or blue
Ecology: Disturbed places, fields
Elevation: < 1700 m.
Bioregional distribution: Central Coast, n South Coast, Peninsular Ranges (Santa Ana Mtns)
Distribution outside California: native to s Africa

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