Index
Practical ecological knowledge for the temperate reader.

Asparagus officinalis - Garden Asparagus

Family: Asparagaceae (Previously in Liliaceae) [E-flora]

"Asparagus officinalis is a PERENNIAL growing to 1.5 m (5ft) by 0.8 m (2ft 7in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in August, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is not self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid, very alkaline and saline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure." [PFAF]

"Asparagus is a widely grown, cultivated species that originates in Eurasia. In North America, it has been dispersed by birds outside of cultivation and is now found in most continental US states and in all Canadian provinces (USDA 2010). In British Columbia, it is established across the southern part of the province, where it may be found in a variety of habitats, from open fields and floodplains to roadsides and ditches." [E-flora]

"Asparagus is a perennial rhizomatous species that reproduces both vegetatively by rhizomes and by seed. The familiar asparagus stalks that we buy in the store are the young shoots of the plant that eventually expand as they grow into a relatively tall (up to 1.5 m), branching, fern-like plant that produces small green or yellowish-white, bell-shaped flowers and red berries. Male and female flowers are found on separate plants. The asparagus is a member of the Lily Family (Liliaceae)." [E-flora]

"General: Perennial herb from cord-like rhizome; stems numerous, clustered, erect, 1-1.5 m tall, green, fleshy and unbranched when young, becoming freely branched and "fern-like" with age, smooth; branchlets green, thread-like, mostly 8-15 mm long, in tufts in the axils of the leaves." [IFBC-E-flora]

Habitat/Range: "Mesic to dry fields, floodplain thickets, orchards, roadsides and ditches in the lowland and steppe zones; common in S BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, rare along the SW coast; introduced from Europe." [IFBC-E-flora]

Status: Exotic [E-flora]

Hazards

Medicinal Use

Herb:

Root:

Select Activities: Antiaging (1; JNU); Antibacterial (1; APA; WO2); Anticancer (1;APA); Antiinflammatory (1; APA; JNU); Antileukemic (1; APA; BGB); Antioxidant (1; JNU); Antirheumatic (1; APA; PED; PNC); Antiviral (f; APA); Bitter (f; PED); Cardiosedative (1; WO2); Cardiotonic (1; PNC); Contraceptive (1; WO2; WO3); Diuretic (1; APA; KOM; PH2); Hypotensive (f; APA; BGB); Immunostimulant (1; BGB; JNU); Laxative (1; BGB; PED; PNC); Spermicide (1; PH2). [HMH Duke]

Select Indications: Acne (f; APA; BGB); Bacteria (1; APA; WO2); Bladder Stone (2; PHR; PH2); Cancer (1; APA); Cancer, mouth (1; JNU); Cancer, pharynx (1; JNU); Cardiopathy (1; BGB; LAF; JNU; PH2; PNC; WO2); Constipation (1; BGB; PED; PH2; PNC); Dropsy (f; PH2; WO2); Fertility (1; WO2); Gout (1; PH2; WO2); HIV (f; APA); High Blood Pressure (f; APA; BGB; LAF); Immunodepression (1; BGB; JNU); Inflammation (1; APA; JNU; PH2); Kidney Stone (2; APA; PH2); Leukemia (1; APA; BGB); Neurosis (f; PED; PNC); Rheumatism (1; APA; PED; PH2; PNC); Sore Throat (1; APA; JNU); Stone (2; KOM; PH2); Tuberculosis (1; WO2); UTI (2; KOM; PH2); Virus (f; APA); Water Retention (1; APA; KOM; PH2); [HMH Duke]

"Dosages (Asparagus) — Food farmacy (JAD); 1 tsp powdered seed in juice (APA); 45–60 g rhizome (KOM); 1 tbsp fresh root (PED); 1.5 g dry root (PED); 1.5 g:7 g alcohol, 8 ml water (PED). “Daily dosage is 45 to 80 g (PH2); a typical single dose is 800 mg” (PH2)." [HMH Duke]

Phytochemicals

  • (22-SPIROSTAN-3BETA-OL Shoot: DUKE1992A
  • 4-VINYL-GUAIACOL Shoot: DUKE1992A
  • 4-VINYL-PHENOL Shoot: DUKE1992A
  • ALANINE Seed 1,440 - 18,581 ppm DUKE1992A
  • ALPHA-AMINODIMETHYL-GAMMA-BUTYROTHETIN Rhizome: DUKE1992A
  • ALPHA-CAROTENE Plant: DUKE1992A
  • ALPHA-LINOLENIC-ACID Shoot 50 - 645 ppm DUKE1992A
  • ALUMINUM Shoot 13 - 700 ppm DUKE1992A
  • ARGININE Shoot 1,430 - 18,452 ppm DUKE1992A
  • ARSENIC Shoot 0.005 - 0.006 ppm DUKE1992A
  • ASCORBIC-ACID Shoot 100 - 5,714 ppm DUKE1992A
  • ASH Shoot 6,000 - 171,000 ppm DUKE1992A
  • ASPARAGINE Shoot: DUKE1992A
  • ASPARAGOSIDES Shoot: DUKE1992A
  • ASPARAGUSIC-ACID Shoot: DUKE1992A
  • ASPARASAPONINS Plant: DUKE1992A
  • ASPARTIC-ACID Shoot 3,550 - 45,805 ppm DUKE1992A
  • BARIUM Shoot 2 - 70 ppm DUKE1992A
  • BETA-CAROTENE Shoot 0.3 - 120 ppm DUKE1992A
  • BORON Shoot 6 - 104 ppm DUKE1992A
  • CADMIUM Shoot 0.018 - 0.07 ppm DUKE1992A
  • CALCIUM Shoot 160 - 3,840 ppm DUKE1992A
  • CARBOHYDRATES Shoot 36,000 - 602,000 ppm DUKE1992A
  • CHOLINE Rhizome: DUKE1992A
  • CHROMIUM Shoot 0.135 - 0.7 ppm DUKE1992A
  • COBALT Shoot 0.09 - 0.12 ppm DUKE1992A
  • CONIFERIN Shoot: DUKE1992A
  • COPPER Shoot 1 - 24 ppm DUKE1992A
  • CYANIDIN-3,5-DIGLUCOSIDE Shoot: DUKE1992A
  • CYANIDIN-3-MONOGLUCOSIDE Shoot: DUKE1992A
  • CYANIDIN-3-RHAMNOSYLGLUCOSIDE Shoot: DUKE1992A
  • CYANIDIN-3-RHAMNOSYLGLUCOSYLGLUCOSIDE Shoot: DUKE1992A
  • CYSTINE Shoot 360 - 4,645 ppm DUKE1992A
  • DIOSGENIN Shoot: DUKE1992A
  • FAT Shoot 2,000 - 41,000 ppm DUKE1992A
  • FIBER Shoot 7,000 - 141,000 ppm DUKE1992A
  • FOLACIN Shoot 1 - 18 ppm DUKE1992A
  • FRUCTOSE Rhizome: DUKE1992A
  • GLUCOSE Shoot: DUKE1992A
  • GLUTAMIC-ACID Shoot 5,010 - 64,645 ppm DUKE1992A
  • GLYCINE Shoot 990 - 12,774 ppm DUKE1992A
  • GUAIACOL Shoot: DUKE1992A
  • HISTIDINE Shoot 470 - 6,065 ppm DUKE1992A
  • INOSITOL Shoot: DUKE1992A
  • INULIN Root: DUKE1992A
  • IRON Shoot 6 - 240 ppm DUKE1992A
  • ISOLEUCINE Shoot 1,120 - 14,452 ppm DUKE1992A
  • JAMOGENIN Shoot: DUKE1992A
  • KAEMPFEROL Root: DUKE1992A
  • KILOCALORIES Shoot 210 - 3,130 /kg DUKE1992A
  • LAURIC-ACID Shoot 10 - 129 ppm DUKE1992A
  • LEAD Shoot 1.5 - 30 ppm DUKE1992A
  • LEUCINE Shoot 1,330 - 17,161 ppm DUKE1992A
  • LINOLEIC-ACID Shoot 910 - 11,742 ppm DUKE1992A
  • LITHIUM Shoot 0.36 - 0.6 ppm DUKE1992A
  • LUTEIN Plant: DUKE1992A
  • LYSINE Shoot 1,450 - 18,710 ppm DUKE1992A
  • M-CRESOL Shoot: DUKE1992A
  • MAGNESIUM Shoot 165 - 7,000 ppm DUKE1992A
  • MANGANESE Shoot 2 - 100 ppm DUKE1992A
  • MANNAN Rhizome: DUKE1992A
  • MERCURY Shoot 0.001 - 0.001 ppm DUKE1992A
  • METHIONINE Shoot 290 - 3,742 ppm DUKE1992A
  • MOLYBDENUM Shoot 0.63 - 1.8 ppm DUKE1992A
  • MUFA Shoot 70 - 903 ppm DUKE1992A
  • MYRISTIC-ACID Shoot 10 - 129 ppm DUKE1992A
  • NIACIN Shoot 11 - 366 ppm DUKE1992A
  • NICKEL Shoot 0.9 - 1.8 ppm DUKE1992A
  • O-CRESOL Shoot: DUKE1992A
  • OFFICINALISIN-II Root: DUKE1992A
  • OLEIC-ACID Shoot 60 - 774 ppm DUKE1992A
  • P-CRESOL Shoot: DUKE1992A
  • PAEONIDIN-3-GLUCOSYLRHAMNOSYLGLUCOSIDE Shoot: DUKE1992A
  • PAEONIDINRHAMNOSYLGLUCOSIDE Shoot: DUKE1992A
  • PALMITIC-ACID Shoot 450 - 5,806 ppm DUKE1992A
  • PALMITOLEIC-ACID Shoot 10 - 129 ppm DUKE1992A
  • PANTOTHENIC-ACID Shoot 2 - 22.4 ppm DUKE1992A
  • PENTOSANS Shoot 70,000 ppm; DUKE1992A
  • PHENOL Shoot: DUKE1992A
  • PHENYLALANINE Shoot 720 - 9,290 ppm DUKE1992A
  • PHILOTHION Shoot: DUKE1992A
  • PHOSPHORUS Shoot 390 - 10,244 ppm DUKE1992A
  • PHYTOSTEROLS Shoot 246 - 3,097 ppm DUKE1992A
  • POTASSIUM Shoot 2,210 - 55,200 ppm DUKE1992A
  • PROLINE Shoot 1,620 - 20,903 ppm DUKE1992A
  • PROTEIN Shoot 22,000 - 394,840 ppm DUKE1992A
  • PSEUDOASPARAGOSE Rhizome: DUKE1992A
  • PUFA Shoot 960 - 12,387 ppm DUKE1992A
  • QUERCETIN Root: DUKE1992A
  • RHAMNOSE Shoot: DUKE1992A
  • RIBOFLAVIN Shoot 1 - 36 ppm DUKE1992A
  • RUTIN Root: DUKE1992A
  • SARSAPOGENIN Shoot: DUKE1992A
  • SELENIUM Shoot 0.041 - 0.078 ppm DUKE1992A
  • SERINE Shoot 1,160 - 14,968 ppm DUKE1992A
  • SFA Shoot 500 - 6,452 ppm DUKE1992A
  • SILVER Shoot 0.09 - 0.12 ppm DUKE1992A
  • SODIUM Shoot 18 - 685 ppm DUKE1992A
  • STEARIC-ACID Shoot 30 - 387 ppm DUKE1992A
  • STRONTIUM Shoot 19 - 200 ppm DUKE1992A
  • SUCCINIC-ACID Shoot: DUKE1992A
  • SUCROSE Rhizome: DUKE1992A
  • SUGAR Shoot 15,000 ppm; DUKE1992A
  • SULFUR Shoot 56 - 864 ppm DUKE1992A
  • THIAMIN Shoot 1 - 26 ppm DUKE1992A
  • THREONINE Shoot 850 - 10,968 ppm DUKE1992A
  • TITANIUM Shoot 0.45 - 180 ppm DUKE1992A
  • TOCOPHEROL Shoot 19.8 - 256 ppm DUKE1992A
  • TRYPTOPHAN Shoot 300 - 3,871 ppm DUKE1992A
  • TYROSINE Shoot 480 - 6,194 ppm DUKE1992A
  • VALINE Shoot 1,180 - 15,226 ppm DUKE1992A
  • VANADIUM Shoot 0.3 - 2 ppm DUKE1992A
  • WATER Plant 914,000 - 950,000 ppm HHB USG
  • ZEAXANTHIN Plant: DUKE1992A
  • ZINC Shoot 12 - 124 ppm DUKE1992A
  • ZIRCONIUM Shoot 1.8 - 2.4 ppm DUKE1992A

ppm = parts per million
tr = trace [DukePhyto]

COMPOUNDS: ASPARAGUS HERB
"Flavonoids: including rutin, hyperoside, isoquercitrin" [PDR]
"Steroid saponins" [PDR]

COMPOUNDS: ASPARAGUS RHIZOME AND ROOT
"Steroid saponins: including asparagosides A, B, D, F, G, H, I, the bitter steroid saponins, aspartic saponin I" [PDR]
"Amino acids: among them sulphur-containing aspartic acid, the esters 3-mercapto- butyric acid, 3-methylthio-isobutyric acid, diisobutyric acid disulphide" [PDR]
"Fructans: asparagose, asparagosine" [PDR]

Root: "The main active principles are flavonol glycoside and furostanol and spirostanol glycosides, mainly derivatives of sarsapogenin. The distinctive odor of the urine after an individual has eaten asparagus is said to be caused by methylmercaptan" [PDR]

Properties

"Extracts (Asparagus) — Asparagusic acid nematicidal. As the richest source of glutathione (at least as cited in JNU), asparagus could be credited with many of the activities of glutathione, a major antioxidant that also detoxifies carcinogens and pollutants, maintains healthy liver, boosts the immune system, aids cell replication, repairs damaged DNA, and reduces inflammation." [HMH Duke]

Propagation
"Seed - pre-soak for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in spring or as soon as the seed is ripe in early autumn in a greenhouse. It usually germinates in 3 - 6 weeks at 25°c[134]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a sunny position in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer[K]. Division in early spring as the plant comes into growth." [PFAF]

Cultivation
"Wild asparagus is a perennial. During the spring, the rootstock sends up the young shoots. Asparagus is an excellent garden plant, once established. The plant's underground rhizomes spread regularly, and one patch can produce edible shoots for up to 100 years.
Easily grown in any good garden soil[16]. Prefers a rich well-drained sandy loam and a sunny position[1, 16, 27, 238]. Prefers a pH of 6.5 or higher[200], though it tolerates a pH in the range 4.3 to 8.2. Asparagus is often cultivated as a luxury vegetable, there are some named varieties[16, 183]. Well-tended plants can be long-lived, an asparagus bed can last for well over 20 years. Asparagus is a good companion plant for tomatoes, parsley and basil[18, 20, 201]. When grown together, tomatoes help to protect asparagus from the asparagus beetle[201]. Asparagus is said to repel the nematodes that can infect tomatoes[201] (see the report below on the plants other uses). A good bee plant[108]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required." [PFAF]

Synonyms
Asparagus officinalis subsp. officinalis . [E-flora]

References

  1. http://linnet.geog.ubc.ca/Atlas/Atlas.aspx?sciname=Asparagus%20officinalis, Accessed August 21, 2020
  2. http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Asparagus+officinalis Accessed March 22, 2015

Asparagus Sp.

"Perennial herb. Inflorescence: pedicels slender, jointed near middle. Flower: stamens ± >= perianth, exserted; style 1, short, slender, stigmas 3.
± 300 species: especially northern temperate. (Greek: ancient name) Asparagus densiflorus (Kunth) Jessop misappl. to A. aethiopicus L., a waif." [Jepson]

Local Species;

  1. Asparagus officinalis - Garden Asparagus [E-flora]

References


Page last modified on Saturday, September 5, 2020 8:42 PM