Asparagus plumosus

Ferny asparagus

Family: Asparagaceae

Origin: Africa

Fronds of the ferny asparagus.
Ferny asparagus easily and establishes in natural areas, twining up into supporting plants.
Photo credit: Small white flowers are followed by small berries that ripen from green to black.

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • National Pest Plant Accord Species
  • Whole region — Sustained control

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Scrambling perennial. Stems are widely branched and < 2 m long. Flowers are small, white and borne in November – December. Berries are purple/black.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell ferny asparagus. As ferny asparagus is a National Pest Plant Accord species, these restrictions apply within the Auckland region and across the whole of New Zealand.
  • You must not plant ferny asparagus within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • You must destroy any ferny asparagus on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.

Habitats

Forest, shrubland, coastal cliffs, dunes, hedgerows, gardens.

Dispersal

Seeds probably dispersed by birds. Human-mediated dispersal through dumping of garden waste and deliberate planting.

Impact on environment

Potential to smother native vegetation, reducing regeneration and causing canopy collapse. May alter invertebrate communities.

Control

Site Management

Cut and pull vines away from desirable trees and native plants before foliar spraying. Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Dig out.

Plant parts requiring disposal: Tubers, rhizomes and seeds.

Disposal options: Rot tubers, rhizomes and seeds in covered water barrel or remove to greenwaste or landfill.

Biocontrol

Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications: Foliar spray with 200ml glyphosate green per 10L of water.

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user: Foliar spray with 200ml glyphosate green per 10L of water and 10ml penetrant.

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

Ferny asparagus with tiny white flowers in bloom.