Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Asparagus officinalis
L., Asparagaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: shi diao bai

English: asparagus, garden asparagus

French: asperge

Spanish: espárrago, esparraguera

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Summer-green dioecious perennial, with woody crown; roots long, cylindrical, fleshy.  Stems 60-120 cm high, bright green, stiffly erect ± 1-5 mm long, with short soft basal spur.  Cladoes needle-like, 5-15 mm long, 2-8 at each node.  Flowers axillary, 1-2-(4), greenish-yellow; pedicels drooping, 5-10 mm long; male flowers 5-6 mm long, stamens ± 3 mm long, ovary rudimentary; female flowers shorter, ± 4 mm long, stamens ± 1.5 mm long, functionless.  Berry globose, ± 6-8 mm diam., red.  Seeds 1-9, ± 3 mm diam., black." (Healy & Edgar, 1980; p. 52).

Habitat/ecology:  In New Zealand, "a persistent weed of cultivated land and gardens, occasional along roadsides and on waste sections, rarely along river banks and in salt meadows" (Healy & Edgar, 1980; p. 52).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  "Europe, W. Asia, Siberia, N. Africa, but the natural distribution obscure owing to cultivation" (Healy & Edgar, 1980; p. 52).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island introduced
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Rare, in gardens.
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
San Cristóbal Group
San Cristóbal Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
French Polynesia
Gambier Islands
Mangareva (Gambier) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Gambier Islands
Mangareva (Gambier) Island introduced
cultivated
St. John, Harold (1988) (p. 11)
Voucher cited: Fosberg 11084 (BISH)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R. (1997) (p. 65)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 5367 (PAP)
Culture expérimentale.
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rurutu Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
cultivated
Stone, Benjamin C. (1970) (p. 115)
Not commonly grown in Guam.
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 93)
Voucher cited: MacKee 12295
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
Australia (continental) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Steppes. N.W. Xinjiang
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 191)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
Healy, A. J./Edgar, E. (1980) (p. 52)
Voucher cited: T. F. Cheeseman (AK 94775)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Agalega Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Stoddart, D. R. (1983) (p. 126)

Comments:  Reported as possibly an invasive plant in the Galápagos Islands per Charles Darwin Research Station.

Control:  See control methods for other Asparagus species.


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

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This page was created on 20 OCT 2004 and was last updated on 16 MAY 2017.