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Asparagus setaceus


Asparagus setaceus

Family Name: Asparagaceae
Synonyms: Asparagus plumosus
Common Name: Fern Asparagus, 文竹


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Monocotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Shrub
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution South Africa
Native Habitat Terrestrial

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form A bushy evergreen and twining vine which has scrambling stems.
Foliage The true leaves are tiny scales.
Stems Feathery, fern-like, green; appeared to look like leaves but they are actually flattened shoots (cladode or cladophyll); stems turn woody as mature, and produce spines. 
Flowers Small, white flowers.
Fruit Purple berries.
Etymology The genus Asparagus is Greek, for plants sprouting edible turions from the rootstock. The specific epithet setaceus means bristly, with bristle or stiff hairs.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Landscape Uses Interiorscape/ Indoor Plant, Container Planting, Suitable for Hanging Baskets

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Modification Scale-like
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Monocot)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Cladode

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) White

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Purple

Image Repository



Master ID 400
Species ID 1696
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 17 February 2022.