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Asparagus officinalis is a perennial found in areas such as Western Europe, including Britain, from N. Germany to S. W. France. A member of the Asparagaceae family, Asparagus officinalis L is also known by its common name of Asparagus. The perennial can grow to a height of 1.5 meters and up to 0.75 meters wide. The preferred habitat of Fertile and sandy soils by the seashore and along river banks[9, 132]., with LMH soil and SN moisture levels. .
Asparagus is a zone 4 hardy plant that has medicinal uses - the medicinal usage rating of Asparagus is 3Asparagus has been cultivated for over 2,000 years as a vegetable and medicinal herb. Both the roots and the shoots can be used medicinally, they have a restorative and cleansing effect on the bowels, kidneys and liver. . The plant is antispasmodic, aperient, cardiac, demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic, sedative and tonic[4, 21, 165, 201, 240]. The freshly expressed juice is used. The root is diaphoretic, strongly diuretic and laxative[9, 218, 222]. An infusion is used in the treatment of jaundice and congestive torpor of the liver. The strongly diuretic action of the roots make it useful in the treatment of a variety of urinary problems including cystitis. It is also used in the treatment of cancer. The roots are said to be able to lower blood pressure[7, 222]. The roots are harvested in late spring, after the shoots have been cut as a food crop, and are dried for later use. The seeds possess
antibiotic activity. Another report says that . The plant contains asparagusic acid which is nematocidal and is used in the treatment of schistosomiasis.
Asparagus officinalis is 0 plant, whose flowers bloom typically in 8, and which is pollinated by Bees.
Known hazards of the plant: Large quantities of the shoots can irritate the kidneys[20, 62]. The berries are mildly poisonous.
The plant has an edibility rating of 4Young shoots - raw or cooked[2, 5, 15, 16, 27, K]. Considered a gourmet food, the shoots are harvested in the spring. We find them very acceptable raw in salads, with a hint of onion in their flavour[K]. They are normally boiled or steamed and used as a vegetable[K]. Male plants produce the best shoots. Do not over-harvest . The plant because this would weaken it in the following year. The shoots are a good source of protein and dietary fibre. Roasted seeds are a coffee substitute[21, 46, 183].
Cultivation tips: Easily grown in any good garden soil. The plant prefers a rich well-drained sandy loam and a sunny position[1, 16, 27, 238]. The plant prefers a pH of 6.5 or higher, though it tolerates a pH in the range 4.3 to 8.2. Asparagus is often cultivated as a luxury vegetable, there are some named varieties[16, 183]. Well-tended plants can be long-lived, an asparagus bed can last for well over 20 years. Asparagus is a good companion plant for tomatoes, parsley and basil[18, 20, 201]. When grown together, tomatoes help to protect asparagus from the asparagus beetle. Asparagus is said to repel the nematodes that can infect tomatoes (see the report below on the plants other uses). A good bee plant. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
. The plant should best be propagated by Seed - pre-soak for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in spring or as soon as the seed is ripe in early autumn in a greenhouse. It usually germinates in 3 - 6 weeks at 25°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a sunny position in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer[K]. Division in early spring as . The plant comes into growth.
Young shoots - raw or cooked[2, 5, 15, 16, 27, K]. Considered a gourmet food, the shoots are harvested in the spring. We find them very acceptable raw in salads, with a hint of onion in their flavour[K]. They are normally boiled or steamed and used as a vegetable[K]. Male plants produce the best shoots. Do not over-harvest . The plant because this would weaken it in the following year. The shoots are a good source of protein and dietary fibre. Roasted seeds are a coffee substitute[21, 46, 183].