Environmental issues

Pests and weeds

Asparagus weeds

Asparagus weeds are aggressive vine-like plants that are highly invasive in sub-tropical and temperate bushland and coastal ecosystems of Australia. Seven species of asparagus are recognised as Weeds of National Significance (WoNS):

  • ground asparagus (Asparagus aethiopicus)
  • climbing asparagus (A. africanus)
  • common bridal creeper (A. asparagoides)
  • Western Cape bridal creeper (A. asparagoides Western Cape form)
  • bridal veil (A. declinatus)
  • climbing asparagus fern (A. plumosus)
  • asparagus fern (A. scandens).

Exotic vines and scramblers have significant adverse effects on biodiversity and their invasion and establishment is listed as a key threatening process (KTP) in NSW.

Priorities to manage all widespread weeds, such as A. aethiopicus (ground asparagus), within their core infestations in NSW, have been developed. There is also a National Strategic Plan to guide management of asparagus weeds in Australia.

Asparagus weeds grow quickly and produce dense, vigorous thickets of foliage that smother native herbs and shrubs. They can form monocultures, displace native plants and alter native ecosystems. Below ground, asparagus weeds form extensive, often impenetrable root mats that impede the growth of native seedlings and, ultimately, lead to a loss of diversity.

Asparagus weeds can be difficult to control. Restoration is often necessary because root mats can persist, continuing to cause impacts long after plants have been killed. Thus, new outbreaks should be a priority for control to ensure extensive root mats do not develop. For information on control of Asparagus species, instructive videos have been created that detail best practice management for the seven asparagus WoNS and Asparagus macowanii.

Asparagus Weeds Management Manual

This manual provides information on biology, ecology and effective control of the seven asparagus Weeds of National Significance and highlights other new and emerging asparagus weed threats. It also includes advice on planning, holistic management, restoration and monitoring, as well as case studies that provide real examples of the successes and challenges of asparagus weed control.

Download complete manual: Asparagus Weeds Management Manual (130486asparagus.pdf, 22MB)

Asparagus weeds best practice management manual 

Download chapters

For further information, including awareness resources and 8-page Weed Management Guide, please visit the national Asparagus Weeds webpage.

Page last updated: 01 February 2015