Asparagus setaceus

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 Asparagus setaceus subsp. var.  Common Asparagus Fern, Lace Fern, Climbing Asparagus, or Ferny Asparagus
Asparagus setaceus Leaves 2760px.jpg
Habit: vine-climber
Height: to
Width: to
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Lifespan: perennial
Exposure: sun, part-sun
Water: moist, moderate, dry
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USDA Zones: to
Sunset Zones:
Flower features:
Asparagaceae > Asparagus setaceus var. ,

Asparagus setaceus, commonly known as Common Asparagus Fern, Lace Fern, Climbing Asparagus, or Ferny Asparagus, is a vine plant in the genus Asparagus.[1] Despite its common name, the plant is not a true fern, but has leaves that resemble one.[2]

It is native to Southern Africa, but is grown elsewhere as an ornamental plant. It has become an invasive species in several locations where it has been introduced.[3] Originally described by the German botanist Carl Sigismund Kunth, its specific name is derived from the Latin saeta "hair" or "bristle", hence "hairy".[4] Some authorities use the name A. plumosus (plumosus Latin "plumed", referring to the foliage) as described by Baker in 1875 for this plant,[5]

Asparagus setaceus is a scrambling perennial herb with tough green stems, which may reach several metres in length. The leaves are actually leaf-like cladodes up to 7 mm long by 0.1 mm in diameter, which arise in clumps of up to 15 from the stem, making a fine, soft green fern-like foliage. Occurring from spring to autumn, the small greenish-white bell-shaped flowers are 0.4 cm long, and are followed by small green berries, which blacken with maturity.[6]

The fruit (berries) of this plant are toxic and should not be eaten.

The attractive foliage of Asparagus setaceus makes it desirable as an indoor or pot plant. It is very hardy and adapts readily to cultivation. The foliage is also used in floral arrangements.



Pests and diseases




  1. "Asparagus setaceus (Kunth) Jessop". PLANTS Profile. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (2006-10-01). Retrieved on 2006-10-01.
  2. Zachos, Ellen (2005). Tempting tropicals: 175 Irresistible Indoor Plants. Timber Press. pp. 112. ISBN 0881927320. 
  3. "Asparagus setaceus". Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER). Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry (2005-12-03). Retrieved on 2006-10-01.
  4. Simpson DP (1979). Cassell's Latin Dictionary (5 ed.). London: Cassell Ltd.. ISBN 0-304-52257-0. 
  5. "Asparagus plumosus". Flora of Australia Online. ABRS, ©Commonwealth of Australia (1994). Retrieved on 2009-07-29.
  6. Climbing Asparagus

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