Asparagus Fern

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Protoasparagus spp.

Description

This is a dense, highly branched scrambler which grows up to 2 metres high. There are about 100 species of asparagus ferns worldwide. Four species have naturalised in Australia. Three are invasive weeds; basket or asparagus fern, climbing asparagus fern and feathered asparagus fern.

Stems are long, thorny and often intertwined.

Leaves are small, thin, pointed and up to 2.5 centimetres long.

Flowers are 3 to 5 millimetres long, pinkish-white and bell-shaped, occurring mostly in spring and summer, although they can still be present in early winter.

Fruit is a berry which is green when immature and red when mature. It may be present all year round.

Habitat it grows well on dunes, headlands and gullies, often becoming the dominant ground cover.

Weed characteristics is highly adaptable and aggressive, competing with and displacing native species.

Dispersal is achieved through birds eating the berries.

Declaration Details

This species is a Class 3 declared plant in under Queensland legislation.

How to act

Spraying with a broadleaf selective herbicide is the best control method. Due to the underground tubers ongoing monitoring for regrowth is essential. Early control of infestations is important as once established very difficult to control.

Refer to Weed Control Methods.

References

Related information

Asparagus Fern © NQ Dry Tropics 2011
Asparagus Fern © NQ Dry Tropics 2011

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