14 Jan Asparagus – ground
Protasparagus aethiopicus, Protasparagus densiflorus
A very popular indoor/basket plant because of its ability to withstand low light and neglect, this plant is naturalised in sand dunes and rainforests infesting hundreds of hectares on the NSW coast.
Origin: South Africa
Habit: Herbaceous perennial, highly invasive, sprawling ground cover with wiry, much branched stems up to 2m. A tough, woody crown is formed at base of stems. Dense mats of branches will smother low native vegetation and suppress natural regeneration.
Leaves: Up to 2.5cm, bright green, ferny, leaf-like cladodes with a distinct midrib and abrupt point.
Flowers: Small, white to pale pink, bell shaped flowers in clusters produced during Summer.
Fruit: Pale green berries that ripen to red in late winter early spring.
Roots: Comprehensive and thick mat of tuberous roots spreading from crown.
Dispersal: Seed spread by water, animals, birds, humans, contaminated soil (earthmoving equipment, car tyres etc) and garden refuse dumping.
Control: Difficult to control - crowning, ensure that the crown is removed off site. Remove and bag berries. Follow-up - hand -pull all emerging seedlings. Foliar spray.