Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’
Sprenger’s Asparagus, Asparagus Fern, Emerald Fern, Basket Asparagus
Asparagus ferns are so named because the soft, delicate-looking tufts of needlelike leaves look a bit like asparagus. They aren’t really ferns—ferns don’t have flowers and berries and these do. The leaves are actually short branches (cladodes). The real leaves are inconsequential and look like scales. The plant is native to South Africa.
Identification: These plants are not natives, but they can spread rapidly under the right conditions. The soft-looking, drooping fronds are quite distinctive, and conceal small thorns. Flowers are barely noticeable. Berries are small and bright red. They are popular as house plants.
Edibility: Poisonous. These ferns are not severely poisonous, but the berries can cause gastric discomfort and the sap can cause dermatitis.
Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’ on Forest and Kim Starr’s Starr Environmental site
Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’ as Compiled by the Master Gardeners of the University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension
Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’ on the South African National Biodiversity Institute's web site, plantzafrica.com
Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’ on Erv Evans' site at the North Carolina State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’ at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’ description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.
Range: Zones 9-11: