Asparagus officinalis

Common Name: asparagus 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asparagaceae
Native Range: Europe and temperate Asia
Zone: 3 to 10
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: Flowers not showy
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Vegetable
Flower: Insignificant
Other: Thorns
Tolerate: Rabbit


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Prefers organically rich soils that are evenly moist. Usually planted from roots (crowns). Roots take 2-3 years to produce a crop. May also be grown from seed, but this requires more expertise and care and takes about one year longer to produce the first crop. Plant roots or seed in early spring. Important to keep bed free of weeds.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Asparagus is a perennial vegetable that produces edible shoots or spears which may be harvested in April-May. Plants are male or female. Males do not have to expend energy in producing flowers and fruit and typically produce better crop yields. Plants eventually grow into towering ferns in the summer and then die off after frost and are dormant during the winter. Female plants produce red berries in late summer that will drop in autumn and can cause self-seeding problems.

Genus name is the classical name of this plant.

Specific epithet means sold in shops and was applied to plants with supposed medicinal properties


Asparagus beetles and Japanese beetles can be a problem in some areas of the U.S., but rarely of such magnitude as to require pesticide applications. Susceptible to asparagus rust (Puccinia asparagi). Rabbits tend to avoid this plant.


Grow asparagus in the vegetable garden. Foliage can be used in floral arrangements.