Asparagus fern

Family - Liliaceae / Asparagaceae - Asparagus plumosus Baker. - ORNAMENTAL SPARAGUS - Wen zhu

Scientific names

Asparagus comorensis Hort.
Asparagus setaceus (Kunth) Jessop
Asparagus plumosus Baker
Asparagopsis setacea Kunth

Other vernacular names

DANISH: Sl�rasparges.
FRENCH: Asparagus des fleuristes.
SPANISH: Esparrago plumosa, Esparraguera de las floristas.
THAI: Prong fa.

Common names

Asparagus fern (Engl.)
Climbing asparagus fern (Engl.)
Climbing feather fern (Engl.)
Esparrago plumosa (Span.)
Common asparagus fern (Engl.)
Feather fern (Engl.)
Ornamental asparagus (Engl.)
Wen zhu (Chin.)

asparagus-fern

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) New Furostanol Glycosides from Asparagus plumosus Leaves / O. P. Sati, G. Pant / J. Nat. Prod., 1985, 48 (3), pp 390�394 / DOI: 10.1021/np50039a006

(2) Traditional Fever remedies: a list of Zambian plants / D G Fowler

(3) Sapogenins at Different Ploidy Levels of Asparagus / D K Kar and Sumitra Sen / Current Science, Feb 20, 1986, Vol 55, No 4

(4) Indigenous knowledge and folk use of medicinal plants by the tribal communities of Hazar Nao Forest, Malakand District, North Pakistan / Waheed Murad*, Ashfaq Ahmad, Syed Abdullah Gilani and Mir Ajab Khan / Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol. 5(7), pp. 1072-1086, 4 April, 2011

Gen info 
Genus Asparagus of the Liliaceae family is of medical importance because of its steroidal sapogenins used as precursors for many pharmacologically active steroids.

Botany
Asparagus fern is a slender, climbiing or ascending, branched perennial, with round, green and wiry stems, with very numerous slender branches and branchlets that spread horizontally, forming triangular fernlike sprays, with the upper internodes 1 to 2 millimeters long. Leaves (cladodes) are setaceous, very slender, 3 to 5 millimeters long, ascending or spreading, 6 to 12 in a fascicle. Flowers are small, perfect, solitary at the ends of the branches, with very short pedicels, about 1 millimeter long. Perianth-segments are about 2 millimeters long and spreading. Fruit is a purple and black ovoid berry.

Distribution
– Cultivated for ornamental use.
– Recently introduced.
– Native of Africa.
– Cultivated in most warm countries.

Constituents
– Study isolated furostanol glycosides from Asparagus plumosus leaves.

Properties
-Traditionally, antimalarial, diuretic.

Uses
Folkloric
– Not known in the Philippines for its medicinal application.
– In Mexico a decoction of the branches are used for pulmonary infections; decoction of roots used as a diuretic.
– In Tanzania, the Lobedu drink a cold infusion of leaves and stem for malaria.
– In Pakistan, root tubers used with boiled milk and sugar for dysentery and diarrhea.

Others
– Ornamental: The cuts sprays of the asparagus fern are ornamental favorites among florists for its beauty and lasting quality.

Study Findings
– Phytochemicals / Glycosides: A methanolic extract study of leaves of A plumosus yielded two new furostanol glycosides Study yielded three spirostanol glycosides from the leaves.

Availability
Cultivated for ornmental use.
Seeds in the cybermarket.