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   12 Jun 2024      ()
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Asparagus africanus   (African asparagus)


Asparagus africanus  (ASPARAGACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Dec-2007 (taxon update: none)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Asparagus africanus - datasheet created on Dec-2007. Retrieved from MaltaWildPlants.com on 12-Jun-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Asparagus africanusLam.
Published in Encycl. 1: 295 (1783)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Protasparagus africanus (Lam.) Oberm.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] [Worldplants.de]

Plant Family :

Asparagaceae Juss. (=Liliaceae) (The Asparagus Family)
33 species from the Asparagaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

African asparagus

Maltese name(s) :

Spraġġ tal-Afrika

Status for Malta :

Naturalised Alien. Species that was introduced in Malta after year 1492 (Columbus' discovery of the New World) and spreads and integrates to form established, non-invasive populations. Species may become become invasive if it widespreads rapidly.

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare     Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: Nano-Phanerophyte ( small trees to large shrubs, usually <5 m )
Germination [info]: Monocotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

August – September

Colour of Flowers:

Yellow or Cream

Toxicity:

Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :

Asparagus: An old Greek name given for peculiar plants with needle-like leaves (cladodes). (Greek origin )
africanus:

Planting in rural areas :

Cannot be planted in the wild (rural areas) since the species may be invasive (see ERA guidelines)

Remarks :

Very variable and at least 8 other varieties have been described, but at present these are considered as synonyms and lumped with A. africanus. Possibly Malta is the first station of a natutalised population of Asparagus africanus for Europe.


Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Data will be available in the next update of this website.
Preferred habitat in Malta: Field margins, disturbed valley sides close to rural areas, abandoned farms
Botanical Description: Plant erect when stems young, later scrambling and up to 0.6 m or more high. Rhizome typical, bearing thin, rough roots. Stems many, pubescent or glabrous, smooth, green with spreading branches and branchlets, often closely beset with cladode fascicles. Spines straight or reflexed, sharp, reddish brown with the scale leaves above similar in colour, present below branches, branchlets and cladode fascicles. Cladodes ±12 per fascicle, filiform, slightly curved, apiculate, unequally long, the longest up to 10 mm. Flowers up to ±15 cm each cladode fascicle; tepals narrowly obovate, ±3-4 mm long, whitish; stalk ±5 mm long, articulated in lower half. Stamens with small yellow anthers. Ovary with 4 ovules in each locule; obovoid; style and stigmas very short. Berry ±5 mm in diameter, orange.

Links & Further literature (1 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate

Wikipedia

JSTOR

GBIF

Med Checklist

Cat. of Life

EoL

IPNI

World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium

MNHN

Arkive

IUCN

CABI
New records, Locations and Taxonomic Updates for some Alien Species in the Maltese Islands (Poster Presentation) Stephen Mifsud  (2019)
Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (5 images)
   Asparagus africanus   -   Image Code: SPGAF-0.
   Asparagus africanus   -   Image Code: SPGAF-1.
   Asparagus africanus   -   Image Code: SPGAF-2.
   Asparagus africanus   -   Image Code: SPGAF-3.
   Asparagus africanus   -   Image Code: SPGAF-4.

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