T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Asparagus scandens (Asparagus fern)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Genus: Asparagus
Species: A. scandens
Binomial name: Asparagus scandens
Common name: Climbing asparagus, Asparagus fern
Pest plant

Asparagus scandens is a plant native to South Africa in the Asparagus genus. Asparagus fern is very invasive and has been banned in New Zealand after it was listed as invasive species. It is now illegal under the Biosecurity Act to propagate, distribute or sell this plant - either casually or through nurseries - but existing plants are still allowed on private properties.

Asparagus scandens is a slender scrambling or climbing perennial fern with feathery cladodes (green, flattened stems that resemble leaves) usually in threes at each node. Flowers are small solitary and white. These are followed by red berries. The flowers are white, rarely pale pink, 3-4 mm long, solitary in leaf axils. Flowers develop in Sep-Dec and a round red berry about 8 mm in diameter, with a solitary round black seed about 4 mm in diameter. The leaves are narrow lance-shaped, flattened, curved cladodes usually in threes at each node, 5-15 mm long by 0.8-1.5 mm wide, one noticeably longer. Its stems are green and are strongly binding to its support and are much-branched at the top, up to 2 m long. The roots are tuberous. Found growing in forest remnants, regenerating forest, grassy places, rock walls and hedges. 

An invasion of Asparagus scandens


Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/