Liliaceae, Asparagus prostratus, wild asparagus – Montenegro
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…
Leaf / branch of wild asparagus taken yesterday, at the March in Montenegro.
A handful of wild asparagus picked in Montenegro.
The two photos below were taken last year in Greece. The fruit turn red when mature.
A closeup of the fruit, below.
And a plate of wild asparagus.
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.