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Asparagus racemosus

latin name > Asparagus racemosus

Latin Name: Asparagus racemosus

Synonyms: Asparagus volubilis

Common Name: Shatavari, Wild Asparagus, Sparrow Grass

Sanskrit Name: Satavari, Kurilo, Satmuli, Shatmuli, Satawari, Satawar

Cool Facts: Shatavari in Sanscrit means "one who possesses a hundred husbands." Is is a rasayana, a rejuvinative and restorative herb. It is commonly used in Ayurveda to treat female reproductive problems such as infertility.

Family: Liliaceae

Energy: Cold, Moist

Taste: Sweet, Bitter

Parts Used: Processed Roots, Spring Shoots

Habitat: Common in forested areas of tropical and suptropical India and Nepal in the Himalayas, western China, Japan, northern Africa and northern Australia; becoming more scarse in the wild due to habitat destruction and overharvesting.

Varieties: There are male and female plants. You need both male and female plants to produce berries and seed.

Type: Tender perennial, short climber

Size: Grows to 7 feet

Spacing for Production: 3 feet

Site and Zone: Full-sun or light woodland partial-shade, Z9.

Soil: Any-garden-soil will work. Prefers rich-soil, sandy-loam-soil, slightly acid-soil. Must have well-drained-soil. Will grow in shallow-soil or rocky-soil because the roots are not very deep. Somewhat drought-tolerant.

Will it Grow in Texas?: Yes in frost free areas. It can be grown as an annual in colder regions. Or roots can be lifted in the fall, stored in a frost free cellar and replanted in the spring.

Propagation: By division in early spring. By seed, soak overnight in warm water before planting in early fall or spring. Germination is about 4 to 6 weeks. Plant out root suckers and water twice per week for the first month, then weekly thereafter. It needs some sort of support for the short climber. On large plantations, plants are trained to grow over stacks of brush or wood in alternate rows.

Bugs & Problems: Asparagus beetle can be a problem. Female plants produce berries that may cause gastric upset in dogs and cats. Red berries have been used as contraceptives.

Bloom time: Tiny fragrant flowers bloom in July and August.

Landscaping: Can be grown in a large pot and protected during freezes.

Collection: Dig three to four year old roots in winter, dip them in boiling water, peel the roots immediately and then dry them.

Websites for photos and more info:
American Botanical Council Expanded E Monograph

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