Sustainability

Asparagus officinalis (Asparagus)

A welcome roadside sight to any forager, asparagus can be found in parts of Asia, Africa, North and South America, and most of Europe. It is grown domestically, and can be harvested from the wild during spring. This lovely plant was featured in–and provided the title to–Stalking the Wild Asparagus, the memoir/guidebook by legendary forager Euell Gibbons. It has been used as a food and medicinal plant by several North American native tribes, including the Cherokee, Iroquois, and Isleta. 

Two vegetable beds dedicated to asparagus are between the apiary and the west garden entrance. 

Common Name: Asparagus 

Scientific Name: Asparagus officinalis 

Plant Family: Liliaceae/ Asparagaceae 

Primary Uses 

Edible Parts: Young stalks  

Documented medicinal Uses: External antirheumetic, infusion for treatment of rickets, Iroquois blood medicine. Clinical trials suggest ingestion of asparagus may be effective in the treatment of hypertension, hyperglycemia, and dyslipidemia. 

Etymology:  Asparagus Persian asparag, Gr. asparagos,“sprout, shoot”; officinalis, L.”of the dispensary.” 

Designing with this Plant 

USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-8  

Forest Garden Layer: Herbaceous layer  

Sources and More Information 

 

“Asparagus officinalis.” IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Link

Aspargus officinalis, Native American Ethnobotany Database. Link

“Asparagus officinalis.” Kew Science Plants of the World Online. Link

“Asparagus.” Temperate Climate Permaculture. Link

 Nishimura et al. “Improvement of Blood Pressure, Glucose Metabolism, and Lipid Profile by the Intake of Powdered Asparagus (蘆筍 Lú Sǔn) Bottom-stems and Cladophylls.” Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, Vol. 3. 2013. Link