Asparagus setaceus (Kunth) Jessop

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Asparagus setaceus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Nhancuco, Mt Gorongosa

Asparagus setaceus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Swanepoel Concession, Cheringoma

Asparagus setaceus

Photo: Bart Wursten
River near Zebra Ranger Camp, Gorongosa National Park.

Asparagus setaceus

Photo: Bart Wursten
River near Zebra Ranger Camp, Gorongosa National Park.

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Synonyms: Asparagus plumosus Baker
Protasparagus plumosus (Baker) Oberm.
Protasparagus setaceus (Kunth) Oberm.
Common names: Asparagus fern (English)
Status: Native
Evergreen perennial erect or climbing herb up to 2 m. Stems unarmed except for a few basal spines. Branches spreading with short branchlets densely covered with clusters of numerous short, needle-like cladodes.
Notes: A very distinct and recognisable form has less dense cladode-clusters and the branches, branchlets and cladodes typically flattened into one plane. It has formerly been recognized as a separate species, A. plumosus. This form is often found in the wild and and also well-known as an ornamental plant.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: In thickets or forest.
Altitude range: Up to 2400 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in Tropical Africa and South Africa.
Mozambique distribution: N,Z,MS,GI,M
Growth form(s): Climber.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Monday 25 June 2018

Biegel, H.M. (1977). Check-list of ornamental plants used in Rhodesian parks and gardens. Rhodesia Agricultural Journal. Research Report No. 3. Page 26.

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 290. also as Asparagus plumosus

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 7. As Asparagus plumosus

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 5. As Asparagus plumosus

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 120. As Asparagus plumosus

Demissew, S. (2008). Asparagaceae Flora Zambesiaca 13(1) Pages 13 - 16. (Includes a picture).

Dowsett-Lemaire, F. (1989). The flora and phytogeography of the evergreen forests of Malawi. I: Afromontane and mid-altitude forests; Bull. Jard. Bot. Nat. Belg. 59(1/2) Page 23.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 86. As Asparagus plumosus

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 115.

Siebert, S. & Mössmer, M. (Editors) (2002). SABONET Southern Mozambique Expedition 2001; Provisional Plant Checklist of the Maputo Elephant Reserve (MER) and Licuati Forest Reserve (LFR) SABONET News 7(1) Page 24. Also as Asparagus plumosus

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 49. as Protasparagus setaceus

Timberlake, J.R., Bayliss, J., Dowsett-Lemaire, F., Congdon, C., Branch, B., Collins, S., Curran, M., Dowsett, R,J., Fishpool, L., Francisco, J., Harris, Kopp, M. & de Sousa, C. (2012). Mt Mabu, Mozambique: Biodiversity and Conservation Report produced under the Darwin Initiative Award 15/036. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London Page 71.

White, F. (1962). Forest Flora of Northern Rhodesia Oxford Univ. Press. Page 14. as Asparagus plumosus

White, F., Dowsett-Lemaire, F. & Chapman, J.D. (2001). Evergreen forest flora of Malawi Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Pages 94 - 95. (Includes a picture).

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 81.

Other sources of information about Asparagus setaceus:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Asparagus setaceus
Flora of Malawi: Asparagus setaceus
Flora of Zambia: Asparagus setaceus
Flora of Zimbabwe: Asparagus setaceus
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Asparagus setaceus

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Asparagus setaceus
African Plant Database: Asparagus setaceus
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Asparagus setaceus
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Asparagus setaceus
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Asparagus setaceus
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Asparagus setaceus
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Asparagus setaceus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Asparagus setaceus
iNaturalist: Asparagus setaceus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Asparagus setaceus
JSTOR Plant Science: Asparagus setaceus
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Asparagus setaceus
Kew Monocotyledon checklist: Asparagus setaceus
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Asparagus setaceus
Plants of the World Online: Asparagus setaceus
Tropicos: Asparagus setaceus
Wikipedia: Asparagus setaceus

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave 2007-21

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2021). Flora of Mozambique: Species information: Asparagus setaceus., retrieved 4 December 2021

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