Asparagus densiflorus

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Asparagus densiflorus
Asparagus densiflorus 'Myersii'.jpg
'Myersii' is one of the forms of this variable species that is popular in horticulture
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Asparagoideae
Genus: Asparagus
A. densiflorus
Binomial name
Asparagus densiflorus
(Kunth) Jessop
  • Asparagopsis densiflora Kunth
  • Protasparagus densiflorus (Kunth) Oberm.
Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri'

Asparagus densiflorus, the asparagus fern, plume asparagus or foxtail fern, is a variable evergreen perennial plant, closely related to the vegetable asparagus.

It is native to southern Africa, from Mozambique to South Africa, but is widely cultivated.[1]

Related species[edit]

It is part of a group of similar and related African Asparagus species, including Asparagus aethiopicus ("Sprenger's asparagus"), Asparagus confertus and Asparagus krebsianus.[2]

A. densiflorus has been confused with A. aethiopicus, now regarded as a separate species,[3][4] so that information under the name A. densiflorus will often refer to A. aethiopicus. The plant formerly known as A. densiflorus 'Sprengeri' is actually A. aethiopicus, while the plant known as A. densiflorus 'Myersi' remains A. densiflorus.


As it cannot tolerate frost, in temperate regions A. densiflorus is usually grown under glass. Numerous cultivars have been developed, of which the compact form 'Myersii' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[5] Its dense 50 cm plumes of foliage are especially valued in flower arranging.


  1. ^ a b WCSP (2011). "World Checklist of Selected Plant Families". Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2011-12-06. Search for "Asparagus densiflorus"
  2. ^ Maria F Norup, Gitte Petersen, Sandie Burrows, Yanis Bouchenak-Khelladi, Jim Leebens-Mack, J Chris Pires, H Peter Linder, Ole Seberg. (2015). Evolution of Asparagus L. (Asparagaceae): Out-of-South-Africa and multiple origins of sexual dimorphism. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 92: 25-44.
  3. ^ "FNA Vol. 26 Page 213, 214: Asparagus aethiopicus". Flora of North America. Flora of North America. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
  4. ^ WCSP (2011). Search for "Asparagus aethiopicus".
  5. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Asparagus densiflorus 'Myersii'". Retrieved 2020-04-15.

Further reading[edit]