(Asparagus stipularis)
Asparagus stipularis


A non-aromatic sprawling shrub or climber with smooth, green stems and leaves reduced to small scales. Branches are stiff and sharp pointed. Greenish-white, bell-like flowers, in small clusters at the bases of branchlets, appear between March and June. Fruit a blue-black berry.


Grows on dry rocky or sandy ground by the sea or on rocky slopes inland or more rarely in thin pine forests, from sea-level to maybe 2,000 ft, but mainly in the lowlands. Widespread.


Young shoots of asparagus are collected from the wild and eaten as vegetables. They are rich in potassium phosphate, calcium, manganese, cobolt compounds and iron, making them excellent is cases of anaemia. However, asparagus can cause insomnia if eaten in large quantities. The plant, especially the young stems, contain asparagine used as a diuretic in medicine and also in cases of arrhythmia and other heart complaints. It is also useful for the treatment of bronchitis, respiratory infections and rheumatism.