Asparagus officinalis (Garden Asparagus)
|Also known as:||Common Asparagus|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; fields, open woods, along roads|
|Bloom season:||May - June|
|Plant height:||2 to 7 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACU MW: FACU NCNE: FACU|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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1 to 3 flowers arise from the leaf axils in the upper part of the plant. Individual flowers are about ¼ inch long, bell-shaped with 6 pale yellow to greenish tepals (petals), 6 orange-tipped stamens, on a slender stalk up to an inch long.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are compound and feathery, with soft, needle-shaped leaflets about 1 inch long grouped in clusters of up to 5, alternately attached. The stems are many branched, slender and weak, sometimes erect but often drooping.
This is the same asparagus you can find at your local grocer; it escaped cultivation and has become naturalized throughout much of the U.S., often in the part shade of open woods and woodland edges. Asparagus sprouts up in early spring, and that's the best time to harvest the tasty shoots.
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- erect Garden Asparagus plant
- droopy Garden Asparagus plant
- fall color
- more flowers
- Garden Asparagus plant
Photos by K. Chayka taken in Ramsey County. Other photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?