Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

Asparagus officinalis
Taxonomy

Synonyms: Garden asparagus

Subspecific taxa:

Classification:

Other taxonomic & nomenclature sources: USDA PlantsITISThe Plant ListIPNI

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Species Distribution
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County Map Legend
Absent:
Not known from county
Medium confidence:
Medium or unknown confidence;
often old records or unverifiable observations
Medium-high confidence:
Often observations by expert botanists
High confidence:
Often vouchered herbarium records
Planted / introduced:
Native species introduced outside historic range,
or only in planted locations within county (e.g., restorations)
Historic / extirpated:
Only historic records for the species; likely extirpated
(Note that this category is not yet functional)

North American distribution maps for this species: FLNAUSDA PlantsBONAPBISON

Collections, Observations & Flowering by Month [?]

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F
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M
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A
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M
0
J
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J
0
A
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S
0
O
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N
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D
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Collections & Observations by Decade [?]

Species Status

Status/Listing: No Information

Notes:

Origin: Europe

Species Description

General: Monocot, perennial

Roots: adventitious, rhizomes

Shoots: whorled leaf arrangment; simple leaf type; entire leaf margin; Parallel leaf venation; awl-shaped, hastate leaf shape

Inflorescence: other

Flowers: perfect; 3 merous; complete, regular; yellow, green, white; hypogynous ovary position

Fruit: berry

Physiology: autotrophic; C3 C02 fixation

Reproduction: sexual, vegetative

Ecology & Natural History

Habitat: Species often escaped along railroads, roads, fields, wastes; distributed under scattered trees, and under utility wires; is a weed, but of an often fairly stable community.

ILPIN Notes: Berries are eaten by birds. Muenscher, W.C.L. 1939. Poisonous Plants of the United States. The Macmillan Co. N.Y., N.Y. 266 pp. Species has small green-yellow flowers on slender stalks along branches followed in late summer by orange-red globular, few-seeded berries. Small brownish scales on stems are true leaves; threadlike; leafy clusters of scales are actually branchlet divisions. Wild plants are edible, but less tender than cultivated. Roasted seeds are used as coffee substitute (Medsger). Species may cause dermatitis for some people (Muenscher); roasted seeds may be poisonous. Species often escaped in waste places or along salt marshes; commonly species is cultivated in home gardens, grown commercially.

Functional Relationships:

  • Pollinators:
  • Dispersal:
  • Mycorrhizae:
  • N2 fixation:

Human Relationships:

  • Edibility [?] : yes
  • Showy Flowers:

Wildlife and Livestock Information:

  • Food Value:
  • Cover Value:

Coefficient of Conservatism (C-value) [?] :

  • Entire State:
  • Chicago Area:

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