Asparagopsis alba Kunth
Asparagus pallidus Salisb.
Asparagus albus is a prickly, scrambling, evergreen perennial plant with more or less woody stems that can persist for several years. It grows around 100cm tall[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food, with some reports saying that they are sold in local markets, whilst another saying that they are not very worthwhile.
Western and central Mediterranean - Portugal to Italy, Morocco to Libya
High plateaux in hedges and scrub[
Asparagus albus is native to the Mediterranean region, with its hot, dry summers and cool, moist winters. It can tolerate winter temperatures dipping occasionally to between -5 and -10°c and grows well in the milder regions of the temperate zone[
Easily grown in any good garden soil[
]. Prefers a rich sandy loam[
The edible young shoots of this plant are sold in local markets in the Mediterranean area[
Unlike most members of this genus, this species has hermaphrodite flowers
Young shoots - cooked[
]. A poor substitute for the cultivated asparagus[
Seed - pre-soak for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in spring or as soon as the seed is ripe in early autumn in a greenhouse. It usually germinates in 3 - 6 weeks at 25°c[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a sunny position in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer[
Division in early spring as the plant comes into growth.