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[238]. Both the roots and the shoots can be used medicinally, they have a restorative and cleansing effect on the bowels, kidneys and liver[238]. . The plant is antispasmodic, aperient, cardiac, demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic, sedative and tonic[4, 21, 165, 201, 240]. The freshly expressed juice is used[4]. 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[240]. The strongly diuretic action of the roots make it useful in the treatment of a variety of urinary problems including cystitis[254]. It is also used in the treatment of cancer[218]. 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[7]. The seeds possess
antibiotic activity[222]. Another report says that . The plant contains asparagusic acid which is nematocidal and is used in the treatment of schistosomiasis[238].

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[163].

The plant has an edibility rating of 4Young shoots - raw or cooked[2, 5, 15, 16, 27, K]. Considered a gourmet food[132], 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[1]. 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[201]. Roasted seeds are a coffee substitute[21, 46, 183].

Cultivation tips: Easily grown in any good garden soil[16]. 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[200], 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[201]. Asparagus is said to repel the nematodes that can infect tomatoes[201] (see the report below on the plants other uses). A good bee plant[108]. 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[134]. 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[132], 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[1]. 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[201]. Roasted seeds are a coffee substitute[21, 46, 183].