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Asparagus densiflorus (Sprengeri group) is often confused with:
Asparagus plumosus Asparagus plumosus in a container
Euphorbia cyparissias Form
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Actaea pachypoda Actaea pachypoda
Senecio Flowers
Ligustrum japonicum Ligustrum japonicum 'Silver Star'
Asparagus densiflorus (Sprengeri group) has some common insect problems:
Aphids Found on Flowers and Foliage
Slugs and Snails Found on Flowers and Foliage
Mealybugs

Asparagus Asparagus densiflorus (Sprengeri group)

Other plants called Asparagus:

Phonetic Spelling
ah-SPAIR-ah-gus den-sih-FLOR-us
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

Asparagus Fern is an erect, perennial herb.  It is somewhat woody, and branches gracefully with an arching and fern-like habit.  Its leaves and alternate and scale-like.  The terminal branchlets are very narrow, flat, and needle-like, and form in clusters of 3.  Its yellow-green flowers are axillary, drooping, 6-parted, and bell-shaped.  The fruit is a bright red berry.  Asparagus densiflorus is moderately salt tolerant.

Indoor herbaceous 'shrub' can reach a height of up to 3'.  Its habit can be dense and compact to wide-spreading. Prefers medium warmth; water regularly in spring to autumn, sparingly in winter; intolerant of high light intensity, avoid direct sunlight.  Intolerant of constantly wet soil.  

Maintenance is low.  To maintain its height and form, pinch back the stem tips.  This will also allow the plant to become denser.  If that is not sufficient to achieve the desired form, the plant can be cut down to the soil level.  The plant will then begin to regenerate.  

It is often grown for the graceful feathery-like, fern-like foliage that are used in floral arrangements.  It is adaptable to a wide variation of light, temperature, and frequency of watering.  It will also grow in full shade, with the foliage turning a lighter shade of green.  

Being frost tender, it will die to the ground if it is subjected to even a light frost.  The roots will remain hardy to temperatures of 20-25 degrees Fahrenheit.  For container grown plants, take indoors before the first frost.  

Birds forage on the berries, while at the same time, spread the seeds.  

Used in a hanging basket and as ground cover in indoor landscapes. 

Family name Asparagaceae [formerly Liliaceae]

Quick ID Hints:

  • Cladophylls are soft, green, needle-like, flattened**
  • True leaves are spine-like projections on the stem**
  • Houseplant with fern-like foliage & yellowish blooms*

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Afternoon sun in warmer climates can cause the foliage to yellow.  

Some locations consider this plant invasive.

Mites, slugs, aphids and mealybug often frequent this plant.  Watch out for leaf spot and root or crown rot.  

When used indoors, leaf drop can be messy.

 

 

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Juniper Level Botanic Gardens: Muscadine Bed
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Graham Cracker'
  • 'Meyersii'
    Branches congested, "fox-tail" or "bottle-brush" appearance with lateral pins short, all of equal lengths.
  • 'Splengeri'
    With major branch elongated, lateral pins of variable length & elongate bearing lateral pins on them.
'Graham Cracker', 'Meyersii', 'Splengeri'
Tags:
#invasive#poisonous#fragrant flowers#houseplant#drought tolerant#perennials#yellow flowers#frost tender#salt tolerant#shade garden#hanging baskets#flower arrangements#window boxes#herbaceous#deer resistant#herbaceous perennials#red fruits#groundcover#fern-like#fantz#indoor#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#wet soils intolerant#birds
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Graham Cracker'
  • 'Meyersii'
    Branches congested, "fox-tail" or "bottle-brush" appearance with lateral pins short, all of equal lengths.
  • 'Splengeri'
    With major branch elongated, lateral pins of variable length & elongate bearing lateral pins on them.
'Graham Cracker', 'Meyersii', 'Splengeri'
Tags:
#invasive#poisonous#fragrant flowers#houseplant#drought tolerant#perennials#yellow flowers#frost tender#salt tolerant#shade garden#hanging baskets#flower arrangements#window boxes#herbaceous#deer resistant#herbaceous perennials#red fruits#groundcover#fern-like#fantz#indoor#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#wet soils intolerant#birds
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Asparagus
    Species:
    densiflorus
    Family:
    Asparagaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Ground cover
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    South Africa
    Wildlife Value:
    Birds are attracted to the berries.
    Play Value:
    Buffer
    Easy to Grow
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 6 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
    Appendage:
    Thorns
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    3 feet-6 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    A bright red spherical berry.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flowers axillary, drooping, 6-parted, bell-shaped, yellow-green. Inflorescence a short axillary raceme. Rare in interior settings.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Fronds
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Acicular
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are cladodes, portions of the stem that have the form and function of leaves. They are alternate and scale-like, terminal branchlets very narrow, flat, needle-like, in clusters of 3.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    Erect or trailing, finely ridged, spiny, green or brown. Branches spreading with lateral pins short. CLADOPHYLLS minute, flat, linear, narrowly falcate, 1-nerved, spine-like. The stems are used in floral arrangements.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Landscape Theme:
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Heavy Shade
    Salt
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Invasive Species
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    CAUSES ONLY LOW TOXICITY IF EATEN. SKIN IRRITATION MINOR OR LASTING ONLY FOR A FEW MINUTES. Eating of berries may cause gastrointestinal problems. Skin irritation with redness, swelling, and blisters following contact with sap
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Unknown
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Stems