Fern Asparagus


1 entry found.
Fern Asparagus
Common Name: Plumosa, Fern Asparagus
Botanical Name: Asparagus setaceus (A. plumosa) (as-PAIR-a-gus se-TAY-see-us)
Decorative Life: About 14 days.
Post Harvest Care:
  • Prior to combining with other flowers and greens, store and display this species in water without the sugar found in most fresh flower foods which may promote leaf yellowing. Remove bottom leaves if present, recut stems under water and place into a hydration solution or water plus regular household bleach at 20 drops (1/4 teaspoon) per quart. Treat with a spray or dip designed and proven to reduce water loss and/or extend life.
  • Leaf yellowing and leaf drop are of concern, especially if this species is stored too long and/or allowed to dry out.
Family Roots:
  • Member of the Liliaceae (lily) family.
  • Native to South Africa.
  • Relatives include daylily, hyacinth, tulip, lily-of-the-valley, poker-flower, lily.
Personality:
  • Foliage in a flat triangular, feathery pattern on stem.
  • Stems to 16 inches, classed as a monocotyledon, leaves mostly parallel veined.
  • Plant is a herbaceous perennial from tuberous roots.
Availability: Year-round.
Flower Color: Not applicable.
Storage Specifics: Store at 36-41F, up to 5 days dry, up to 14 days in water. This species exhibited a vaselife of 9-12 days after dry storage for 30 days at 39F. However, some recommend that dry storage only be used if wet storage is impossible to accommodate. Bagging (dry storage) or covering (wet storage) with plastic to reduce water loss is recommended. In general, one day of storage can result in one-day loss in vaselife.
Tidbits:
  • Not a true fern. The fruit-like structures that sometimes are present are just that, fruit.
  • Many forms including dark and light colored, trailing or erect. Good quality stem should end in a tip ("full palm").
  • The specific epithet name setaceus means bristle-like.
  • While listed as non-ethylene sensitive, an anti-ethylene treatment has been shown to be beneficial prior to storage for two weeks.
  • With over 3000 species, the lily family includes many medicinal and food species in addition to ornamental species.