Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Asparagus setaceus

Higher Taxonomy
Family: AsparagaceaeView Description 
Habit: 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.
Genera In Family: 3+ genera depending on interpretation, 320 species: especially northern temperate.
eFlora Treatment Author: Dale W. McNeal
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: AsparagusView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb. Inflorescence: pedicels slender, jointed near middle. Flower: stamens +- >= perianth, exserted; style 1, short, slender, stigmas 3.
Species In Genus: +- 300 species: especially northern temperate. Etymology: (Greek: ancient name) Note: Asparagus densiflorus (Kunth) Jessop misappl. to A. aethiopicus L., a waif.
Asparagus setaceus (Kunth) Jessop
Habit: Climbing or sprawling, woody; roots fibrous. Stem: <= 4 m, wiry; branchlets < 1 mm wide. Leaf: spurred, 4--10 mm. Inflorescence: generally terminal umbels; flowers 1--4. Flower: bisexual, nodding. Fruit: 4--5 mm, purple-black. Chromosomes: n=10.
Ecology: Disturbed places (sites of former gardens); Elevation: < 100 m. Bioregional Distribution: SCo (urban canyons, San Diego); Distribution Outside California: Florida; native to southern Africa. Flowering Time: Apr--Sep
Unabridged Note: Asparagus setaceus used also for naturalized plants in Australia until it was determined that it had been misapplied there for naturalized plants belonging instead to Asparagus plumosus Baker, which might be the correct name for California plants as well.
Jepson eFlora Author: Dale W. McNeal
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Citation for this treatment: Dale W. McNeal 2012, Asparagus setaceus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 17, 2019.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2019, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 17, 2019.

Asparagus setaceus
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© 2018 Keir Morse

More photos of Asparagus setaceus in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Asparagus setaceus:
SCo (urban canyons, San Diego);
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.