Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Asparagus falcatus
L., Asparagaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 11 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Protasparagus falcatus (L.) Oberm.

Habit:  shrub

Description:  "A rambling, clambering, much-branched shrub with dark green, terete branches; spines are recurved and 2-6 mm long. Cladophylls can be solitary or in fascicles of 2-7, ranging from 2.5-15 cm long by 2-5 cm wide, narrowly ensiform, falcate, flat, and costate, narrowing at the tip. Inflorescence a 2-3 cm long raceme, lax, with 4-12 flowers; peduncle filiform. Bracts are 0.5-1 mm long and curved. Pedicel is 4-8 mm long, very thin, with a joint below the middle. Perianth segments are 3 x 1 mm, spathulate, obtuse, and white. Filaments are ca 2.5 mm long and white. Anthers are gray-brown, ca 0.5 mm long. ovary is subglobose to turbinate, 3-lobed, light yellowish green; style is ca 0.5 mm long. Berry bright red when ripe; seeds 1-3 per fruit, 5-6 mm across, and globose with black, slightly rough seed coat"  (Frohlich & Lau, 2010; p. 11).

"Climbing or scandent shrub to 4 (-7) m long. Branches with smooth, terete to angled stem, glabrous; spines recurved, on the main stem 5-7 (-10) mm long, widened at the base; spinules at the base of cladodes 1-2 mm long. Cladodes in fascicles of 3-6, flattened, straight or falcate, (25-) 35-125 x 2-5 mm, with a distinct mid-vein. Racemes simple, solitary or in fascicles of 2, 1.5-3 (-5) cm long, glabrous; bracts ovate, 0.5-2 mm long; pedicels 1.5-4 mm long, articulated in the middle, above or below; flowers solitary. Tepals white to cream-yellow, broadly elliptic or obovate, 2.5-3.5 mm long; stamens shorter than the perianth; anthers yellow; ovary 3-locular with 6 ovules in each locule; style short, ± 0.5 mm long including stigma. Berry red or white flushed purple, 7-10 mm in diameter, 1-3-seeded." (JStor Global Plants entry for Asparagus falcatus)

Habitat/ecology:  In eastern Africa, "0-850 m close to the coast and 1250-1350 m inland." (JStor Global Plants entry for Asparagus falcatus)

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Eastern and southern Africa, Yemen, Sri Lanka (GRIN).


Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
Frohlich, Danielle/Lau, Alex (2010) (p. 11)
Voucher cited: D. Frohlich & A. Lau s.n. (BISH 734202)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island   Bishop Museum (U.S.A. Hawaii. Honolulu.) (1958) (voucher ID: BISH 120961)
Taxon name on voucher: Asparagus falcatus L.

Control:  If you know of control methods for Asparagus falcatus, please let us know.

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This page was created on 26 NOV 2008 and was last updated on 28 FEB 2010.