Asparagus virgatus (ASPARAGACEAE) Asparagus Fern, Broom Asparagus

Weeds to Whack

South African Asparagus with fine, soft, dark green leaves, on thin stems, small white flowers, followed by red berries in summer. Grows in shade in well-drained soil. Drought tolerant, once established. Erect herb or shrub, branches and cladodes spirally arranged, spines absent; roots fibrous. Leaves scale-like cladodes 3-6 in each axil, hairless. Flowers axillary, solitary, chiefly spring-summer. Fruits most of year, a berry orange-red with one seed. Wikipedia says, “The family Asparagaceae (formerly placed in the Liliaceae) has up to 300 species, all from the Old World, introduced in many countries throughout temperate and tropical regions. Many species from Africa are now included in the genera Protasparagus and Myrsiphyllum.

Photo: Robert Whyte