Asparagus fern (Asparagus adscendens) is an evergreen perennial that often adds a distinctive touch of color, texture and life to indoor and outdoor settings. Native to South Africa and parts of the Canary Islands, this edible species of asparagus is both ornamental and nutritional. It is also an attractive trailing plant for containers or planters.
When grown outdoors, Asparagus ferns prefer a warm, sunny environment with some shelter from the wind. It is commonly seen in decorative landscape plantings, or along pathways, patios and balconies where it displays its vibrant green foliage and wing-like fronds.
Asparagus fern is a nutritional powerhouse that provides a wide range of health benefits. It is low in calories and fat, and is packed with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, folate, niacin, riboflavin, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and dietary fiber. It contains antioxidants that can help to reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and boost the body’s immune system. Research has even suggested potential benefits for diabetes, cancer treatment, and cardiovascular health. Additionally, certain compounds found in asparagus ferns, such as saponins, may help to reduce cholesterol levels, and could be useful in helping to prevent heart disease.
In addition to its health-promoting properties, asparagus fern is also known for its unique appearance. It is a fast-growing plant, with long, aerial roots that can reach lengths of up to four feet. Its form is delicate and graceful, with feathery fronds that fan-out in every direction. The colors range from light green to dark green, and some even have a tinge of purple.
Other edible relatives of the asparagus fern include the common asparagus (Asparagus officinalis), asparagus pea (Tetragonolobus purpureus), and asparagus beans (Vigna unguiculata).
Asparagus fern is a versatile and attractive plant that can offer a range of health benefits and complement any landscape or decor. With its easy-to-grow nature, it can be easily incorporated into any diet or garden.