Asparagus drepanophyllus and A. umbellatus

Asparagus species

Also known as:

Asparagus fern

Family: Liliaceae

Origin: South Africa

Asparagus species forming a thick mat.
Asparagus forms thick patches on ground or sub-canopy in most bush types.

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Whole region — Eradication
  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Perennial herbs with fleshy rhizomes. Fruit is c. 6 mm in diameter. A. drepanophyllus is leafless at flowering time, flowers are white/cream with strong odour and stems are thorny.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell A. drepanophyllus or A. umbellatus within the Auckland region.
  • You must not plant A. drepanophyllus or A. umbellatus within the Auckland region.

Auckland Council will control A. drepanophyllus and A. umbellatus at all sites where they are known to occur.

If you see A. drepanophyllus or A. umbellatus anywhere in the Auckland region, please report it to Auckland Council at


Roadsides, gardens, cliffs, rocky outcrops, shrubland, woodland.


Seed dispersed by birds.

Impact on environment

Potential to be highly invasive on cliffs, rocky outcrops, shrubland, woodland and in coastal ecosystems.


Recommended approaches

Do not attempt to undertake control of this species. Please report to Auckland Council.

Caution: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Asparagus umbellatus branch and bright green leaves.
Asparagus seeds are dispersed by birds.
close up photo of Asparagus umbellatus branch.
They have a potential to be highly invasive in a range of habitats.
Close up of asparagus umbellatus with spiky narrow leaves at the end of branches.
It has spiky narrow leaves.
Photo credit: Holly Cox
Close up of Asparagus umbellatus stem and leaves.
Fruit is around 6mm in diameter.
Asparagus umbellatus growing under a small palm
Asparagus is a perennial herb with fleshy rhizomes.