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.
Fruit is a shiny red berry ¼ to 1/3 inch in diameter, containing up to 6 seeds. The berries persist through the winter.
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?
on: 2013-06-20 18:43:43
Asparagus grows all along the open areas along the bike/walking trail in Excelsior and in a few other spots in people's yards. My grandma, who grew up in the area, remembers picking wild asparagus from the same spots (it was a railroad track back then) back in the 1930s. So, asparagus has been established locally for a long time.
on: 2016-06-12 11:14:18
Does it seem strange that I would have found some of this growing on the top of a bluff on Dakota Trail? I am certain that it was asparagus, just seemed an odd place to find it growing.
on: 2017-10-21 10:40:19
Striking and outstanding yellow fall color in a patch along the path from the western parking lot.
on: 2018-05-20 08:43:42
Hi I'm searching for wild asparagus, where can I find it? I'm gilbert biwabik area.
on: 2018-05-20 12:14:53
Jen, asparagus grown in your garden isn't any different from what you might find in "the wild". It simply escapes cultivation and shows up here and there. So go to your local garden center, purchase some, and plant it. You'll have the same thing.
on: 2020-05-19 16:01:39
Found 2 spears today growing in the ditch.
on: 2020-07-31 14:47:03
Jen, two years late however we just found the wild asparagus plant on the bike trail in Gilbert. Behind the Holiday Station and walk west. You'll see 3-4 plants.
on: 2022-06-04 07:58:40
Looking for the plant has anyone seen in my area?
on: 2022-06-04 09:00:23
Pamela, asparagus grown in your garden or purchased at the local farmer's market isn't any different from what you might find in "the wild". It simply escapes cultivation and shows up here and there. So go to your local garden center, purchase some and plant it, or visit the farmer's market. You'll have the same thing.