Garden asparagus

Asparagus officinalis

Family: 

Asparagaceae

Asparagus officinalis, commonly known as the garden asparagus, is not native to California. It is believed to have originally come from the Medditerranean region, having naturalized itself throughout the Americas and New Zealand. Asparagus officinalis is the plant seen at your local super markets, and although at the reserve it might have reached its shrubby form. The actual product we eat is the plant's young tender shoots, White asparagus are the same shoots but harvested before the shoot emerges from the soil. They are white as they have not yet developed chlorophyll (1). The flowers on this plant are bisexual, and bellshaped, and even bear red fruits (2).

Native: Not native to California

Flowering Period: March - September

Nature Serve Global Ranking: G5

Nature Serve State Ranking: SNA

 

(1) Grubben, G. J. H., & Denton, O. A. (2004). Asparagus Officinalis L. Plant Resources of Tropical Africa 2, 95-99. https://edepot.wur.nl/417517

(2) McNeal, D. W. (2012). Asparagus officinalis subsp. officinalis. Jepson Flora Project. https://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=77139