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Products > Asparagus retrofractus
 
Asparagus retrofractus - Ming Asparagus Fern
   
Image of Asparagus retrofractus
 
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Asparagaceae (~Liliaceae)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Greenish White
Bloomtime: Spring
Fragrant Flowers: Yes
Synonyms: [Asparagus macowanii, Protasparagus]
Height: 6-8 feet
Width: 3-5 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Asparagus retrofractus (Ming Asparagus Fern) - A large, rangy shrub-like perennial to 6 to 8 feet tall with tuberous roots bearing upright stout silvery-gray colored canes that hold fluffy tufts of threadlike bright green leaves (cladophylls) on delicate intricately-divided side branches that have sharp small spines where they meet the main stem. Small fragrant white flowers appear in spring to early summer and are often followed by small orange round fruits. Plant in full sun to part shade. Irrigate regularly, occasionally to infrequently - quite drought tolerant even in containers. Hardy to 20 F. Can be pruned sculpturally and is a popular plant for bonsai or as a container plant both indoors and out (in mild climates) where it can tolerate infrequent irrigation and long periods between repotting, though this itself is a chore as the root mass is large and durable. The cut foliage is great in flower arrangements and can last between 1 and 2 weeks. This plant comes from arid regions of South Africa where it grows from the peninsula north to the Karoo and Namibia where its Afrikaner name is katdoring; other common names include Ming Fern, Pom Pom Asparagus Fern and Zig Zag Shrub.  This information is based on research conducted about this plant in our nursery library and from reliable online sources. We also take into consideration observations of it in our nursery of crops, as well as of plants growing in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens we have visited. We will incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if it includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Asparagus retrofractus.