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Asparagus Fern

Asparagus aethiopicus

How does it spread?

The seeds of asparagus fern are spread by birds droppings, water run-off and by people dumping them. Asparagus fern can also re-shoot from pieces of tuber or rhizome left in the ground or dumped after weeding.

How does it affect us?

Asparagus fern is invasive. It can easily germinate in neighbouring gardens or bushland when seeded stems droop over boundaries or through bird droppings. If removal doesn't happen immediately, the plant will spread quickly.

When does it seed?

Asparagus fern has bright red seeds in September..

Getting rid of Asparagus fern

Manual Control

Remove all the ripe fruit and bag them. Dig out the woody crown at the centre of the plant using a sharp knife. You can leave the water tubers. Manual control is suitable where the infestations are not too great or if there is native bush or regeneration.

Herbicide control

Spot spray with a registered herbicide when the plant is actively growing, between the flowering and fruiting period. The plant may take 2-3 months to die off. Make sure you remove any seeds which grow, even if you have sprayed. Spraying is best if the infestation is dense or is on a slope where removal may lead to erosion.

Asparagus fern is a noxious Weed Class 4. This means all land owners must control the growth and spread of this plant on their land, in accordance with the measures specified in a management plan published by the local council authority. The plant may not be sold, propagated or knowingly distributed.

The information here was taken from an information sheet published by Ku-ring-gai Council.

PittwaterEcowarriors have produced a useful video on Asparagus aethiopicus. Click here to view it.

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