Garden Asparagus - Asparagus officinalis

    Description

    The overall appearance is of a rather bushy, fern like plant. The 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. 1 to 3 flowers arise from the leaf axils in the upper part of the plant. Individual flowers are about 1/4 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. Fruit is a shiny red berry 1/4 to 1/3 inch in diameter, containing up to 6 seeds. The berries persist through the winter.

    Identification difficulty
    Habitat

    Rubbish tips and waste places as an escape from cultivation.

    When to see it

    In flower during June, July and August.

    Life History

    Perennial.

    UK Status

    Widespread records from the southern half of Britain, more local in the north.

    VC55 Status

    Infrequent or under recorded as a wild plant in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 17 of the 617 tetrads.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map