Lane Cove Council Banner - Collage depicting the Plaza, River and Bushland

 Our Environment ยป

Asparagus Densiflorus - Asparagus Fern

 

 

Asparagus Densiflorus - Asparagus Fern

Habitat

This noxious weed also spreads into bushland from dumping or by invasion from adjoining gardens. If left the plant eventually forms a dense mat of tuberous roots which suppress the growth of indigenous plants. It has long, prickly, arching stems which can grow up to 2 m long. The red berries drop off the long stems and ensure the plant’s constant survival and spread.

Description

Asparagus Fern is a South African plant, and not a fern at all but in the Lily family. It is a dense scrambler with small pink flowers in late summer, followed by red berries in winter/early spring. These berries are very attractive to birds, particularly Currawongs, who help spread it far and wide.

Noxious Weed Category: 4

Control & Removal Methods

The whole plant can be dug out with a mattock, or with a knife if it is a small plant. But probably the easiest method is to cut off the long stems (remember the plant is prickly so wear thick gardening gloves) and place them in a bin or bag for the green waste collection, particularly if there is any fruit on them, whether green or red. Then, with a sharp knife, “crown it”, that is, cut around the root base removing the centre of the plant. The rhizomes and “bubbles” (water tubers) can be left in the ground where they will eventually die.

The best time to remove the plant is at flowering time or before any fruit forms, then the long stems can be left to dry and later used as mulch. The “crown” must be disposed of in the green waste collection along with any seedlings that can be removed whole. Remember to check the area every so often for any seedlings that have grown from dropped berries.