Asparagus aethiopicus L.

Ground Asparagus

Mant. Pl. 1: 63 (1767) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Scrambling herb to c. 2 m high (usually less), with a short, branching rhizome producing tubers. Cladodes flattened, linear, slightly arcuate, mostly three per bract/node, sometimes 1 per node on short lateral shoots, 10–25 mm long, 1.5–2.0 mm wide. Flowers bisexual, 4–5 mm wide, white; stamens shorter than the perianth; ovary 0.5–1 mm long. Berry globular, c. 8 mm diam, red. Seeds 1–few, 4–5 mm long.

*GipP, *HSF. Native to South Africa, widely cultivated in Australia, naturalised in Victoria.

The form naturalised in Victoria is of the ‘Sprengeri’ group of cultivars. Another cultivar, ‘Myersii’, occurs in New South Wales; it has erect, densely foliose ('foxtail') stems to c. 60 cm high, unbranched above the base. It is also grown in Victoria as an ornamental, but is claimed to have low levels of seed production and lower tendency to become naturalised.

Created by: Andre Messina, 2014-09-24
Updated by: Neville Walsh, 2017-08-16
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Asparagales
family Asparagaceae
genus Asparagus
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Asparagus aethiopicus in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Asparagus aethiopicus in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present introduced

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory