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Liliaceae, Asparagus prostratus, wild asparagus – Montenegro

April 1, 2013

According the the Encyclopedia Britannica there are around 300 species of asparagus worldwide, 15 of which can be found in the Mediterranean region. Asparagus prostratus, once considered to be a subspecies of A. officinalis, is now thought to be an entirely separate species. I believe it is Asparagus prostratus that I am finding this week in Montenegro (see photographs below).

Asparagus is a member of the Liliaceae family, related to such familiar plants as onion, garlic, and tulips.

Asparagus.org says that asparagus is one of the most nutritionally well balanced vegetables in existence. According to NutritionData.com asparagus is low in saturated fat, and very low in cholesterol and sodium. It is also a good source of pantothenic acid, calcium, magnesium, zinc and selenium, and a very good source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese.

Below I have uploaded a number of photos of wild asparagus from both Montenegro and Greece. You can observe the difference in the leaf photos of different varieties.

Wild asparagus spears below…

wild asparagus spear, montenegro

Leaf / branch of wild asparagus taken yesterday, at the March in Montenegro.

wild asparagus leaf, montenegro

A handful of wild asparagus picked in Montenegro.

wild asparagus in hand

The two photos below were taken last year in Greece. The fruit turn red when mature.

wild asparagus leaf, fruit, greece

A closeup of the fruit, below.

wild asparagus seed, fruit

And a plate of wild asparagus.

wild asparagus on plate, montenegro

Here is a link to previous posts about wild asparagus from this site.

Want to know more about asparagus? Refer to AsparagusLover.com for all the information you could possibly want.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 8, 2013 10:08:31 pm

    Wild food holds so much promise. It can survive the tough environmental situation that it grows in without supplementary water and would be a wonderful addition to a forest garden. Cheers for this article Spencer…not too sure I could isolate it here in Tassie but there is plenty of A. officinalis gone feral all over Serendipity Farm to keep me happy (Steve doesn’t like it) for years :). Just a side line…everyone tells me how difficult it is to cultivate A. officinalis in our conditions…Serendipity Farm is very dry and rocky through summer. The ripe seed from forgotten plants (hidden under years of weedy debris but not forgotten by the birds) was spread all over the property by birds. We have asparagus plants popping up everywhere (even on the side of my dad’s grave in the churchyard next door 😉 ). How come it’s so easy for us to get success with germination and growth when so many locals can’t grow it from locally sourced crowns? Weird hey? Maybe it likes to be “wild” 😉

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