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Asparagus officinalis

This plant has poison characteristics. See below.
Common Name(s):
Asparagus
Category:
Poisonous Plants
Description:
Erect, perennial herb, thick, succulent, and unbranched when young; leaves alternate, scale-like and often spiny, terminal branchlets very narrow and needle-like, clustered; flowers axillary, drooping, 6-parted, bell-shaped, yellow-green; fruit a bright red berry.
Family:
Liliaceae
Origin:
Europe, Asia, North Africa
Distribution:
Throughout
Poison Part:
Young raw shoots (stems), berries
Poison Delivery Mode:
Ingestion, dermatitis
Symptoms:
Contact dermatitis from young, raw shoots; eating of berries may cause gastrointestinal problems
Edibility:
Edible parts: young spears (shoots). Harvest time: collect asparagus spears in the early spring, while very young. Only collect spears from areas you know have NOT been treated with pesticides. Safe handling procedures: wash spears thoroughly with warm water to remove dirt and debris. Do not use dish detergent or any type of sanitizer. These products can leave a residue. Peel off the outer skin to within an inch of the top of the spear. Tie spears into bundles (about eight to a bundle) and place lengthwise into boiling salted water. Boil for about 10 minutes until tender, but not soggy. Serve hot with melted butter, or cold with oil and vinegar and seasonings.
Toxic Principle:
Unknown
Severity:
CAUSES ONLY LOW TOXICITY IF EATEN. SKIN IRRITATION MINOR OR LASTING ONLY FOR A FEW MINUTES.
Found in:
Landscape in vegetable gardens; weedy in disturbed areas, naturalized

NCCES plant id: 978

Asparagus officinalis Asparagus officinalis