Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Asparagus plumosus
Baker, Asparagaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results: 

Reject, score: 16 (Go to the risk assessment (Australia))
High risk, score: 13 (Go to the risk assessment (Pacific))

Other Latin names:  Asparagus comorensis hort.; Asparagus setaceus auct. nonn.; Protasparagus plumosus (Baker) Oberm.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: wen zhu

English: asparagus fern, climbing asparagus-fern, ferny asparagus, lace-fern

French: asperge plumeuse

Maori (Cook Islands): remu, remu, remu ‘enua, rimu, rimu, rimu

Samoan: lau lili‘i, lau lili‘i

Tongan: taupo ‘ou

Habit:  vine

Description:  "Plants very slender and intricately branched and tangled, often climbing to a height of 3 meters or more, deep green, woody; stems green; cladodes numerous, 8-20 in a cluster, mostly 5-7 mm long, terete; leaf scales on the main branches developing into short woody spines; flowers borne at the ends of the branchlets, white, the perianth lobes spreading, obovate; berry 1-3-seeded, purple-black" (Standley & Steyermark, 1952; pp. 69-70).

See also Asparagus setaceusRecently published work revealed that Asparagus setaceus and Asparagus plumosus can be "distinguished by the arrangement of the cladodes: all in 1 plane (A. plumosus) or radiating in many planes (A. setaceus).  If this classification is followed, then the plant widespread in cultivation is to be called A. plumosus; the genuine A. setaceus (Kunth) Jessop is not in cultivation"  (Imada, Staples & Herbst, 2000; p. 13).

Habitat/ecology:  In Fiji, " this widely grown species occurs only near sea level..." (Smith, 1979; p. 163)

Propagation:  Seed?

Native range:  Southern Africa (Smith, 1979; p. 163).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
American Samoa
Manu‘a Islands
Ta‘u Island   Yuncker, T. G. (1945) (p. 29)
Voucher cited: Yuncker 9221 (BISH)
American Samoa
Manu‘a Islands
Ta‘u Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1939) (voucher ID: BISH 112578)
Taxon name on voucher: Asparagus plumosus J.G.Baker
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island introduced
invasive
Orchard, Anthony E., ed. (1994) (p. 22)
"Naturalised and becoming a serious pest". Vouchers cited: J. Pickard NSW 13929 (K, NSW), P.S. Green 2026 (K), G. Uhe 1337 (K)
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island introduced
invasive
Australian Biological Resources Study (2013)
"Naturalised and becoming a serious pest". Vouchers cited: J. Pickard NSW 13929 (K, NSW), P. S. Green 2026 (K), G. Uhe 1337 (K)
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Norfolk Islands
Norfolk Island introduced
invasive
Orchard, Anthony E., ed. (1994) (p. 11)
"Naturalised and becoming a serious pest". Vouchers cited: W.R. Sykes NI 504 (CHR), W.R. Sykes NI 539(CHR)
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Norfolk Islands
Norfolk Island introduced
invasive
Australian Biological Resources Study (2013)
"Naturalised and becoming a serious pest". Vouchers cited: W.R.Sykes NI 504 (CHR), W.R.Sykes NI 539 (CHR)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Rota Island   Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Aitutaki Atoll introduced
invasive
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Slightly naturalized
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Aitutaki Atoll introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 73)
As Asparagus setaceus
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
‘Atiu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Slightly naturalized
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
‘Atiu Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 78)
As Asparagus setaceus
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Slightly naturalized
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 84)
As Asparagus setaceus
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Ma‘uke Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Slightly naturalized
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Miti‘aro Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Slightly naturalized
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Miti‘aro Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 96)
As Asparagus setaceus
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Slightly naturalized
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 64)
As Asparagus setaceus
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Kandavu Island introduced
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1979) (p. 163)
Voucher cited: DA 9643
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Rotuma Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1938) (voucher ID: BISH 618811)
Taxon name on voucher: Asparagus plumosus J.G.Baker
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1979) (p. 163)
Vouchers cited: DA 11233, DA 12136, DA Dec. 30, 1949.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1960) (voucher ID: BISH 34073)
Taxon name on voucher: Asparagus plumosus J.G.Baker
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Raro‘ia Atoll introduced
cultivated
Doty, Maxwell S. (1954) (p. 37)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
cultivated
Stone, Benjamin C. (1970) (p. 115)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Starr, Forest/Martz, Kim/Loope, Lloyd L. (2002) (p. 21)
Voucher cited: Starr & Martz 000620-2 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy W./Wagner, Warren L. (1995) (p. 40)
Misidentified as Asparagus setaceus. Voucher cited D. Lorence 5569 (BISH, PTBG)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Lāna‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Oppenheimer, Hank (2008) (p. 29)
Voucher cited: Oppenheimer, Perlman & Tangalin H10710 (BISH, PTBG)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Oppenheimer, Hank L./Bartlett, R. T. (2000) (p. 6)
West Maui. Vouchers cited: Nagata 4444 (BISH), Oppenheimer H89919 (BISH), Oppenheimer H79908 (BISH), Oppenheimer H89915 (BISH), Oppenheimer H89922 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Oppenheimer, Hank L./Bartlett, Randal T. (2002) (p. 9)
East Maui. Voucher cited: Oppenheimer, B. Haus & P. Welton H60023 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Moloka‘i Island introduced
invasive
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim/Loope, Lloyd L. (2006) (p. 36)
Voucher cited: Starr & Starr 050517-3 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Imada, Clyde T./Staples, George W./Herbst, Derral R. (2000) (p. 13)
Vouchers cited: Kraus s.n. (BISH 655272), G. Staples, S. Lum & K. Ahsing 1171 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island   Bishop Museum (U.S.A. Hawaii. Honolulu.) (1999) (voucher ID: BISH 655272)
Taxon name on voucher: Asparagus setaceus (Kunth) Jessop
Nauru
Nauru Island
Nauru Island   Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
cultivated
Sykes, W. R. (1970) (p. 254)
Voucher cited: CHR 169851
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2000) (p. 5)
As Asparagus setaceus
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
cultivated
Yuncker, T. G. (1943) (p. 32)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Savai‘i Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 8)
As Asparagus setaceus
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 8)
As Asparagus setaceus
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1968) (voucher ID: BISH 28549)
Taxon name on voucher: Asparagus plumosus J.G.Baker
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1968) (voucher ID: BISH 28759)
Taxon name on voucher: Asparagus plumosus J.G.Baker
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1921) (voucher ID: BISH 699704)
Taxon name on voucher: Asparagus plumosus J.G.Baker
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1968) (voucher ID: BISH 699705)
Taxon name on voucher: Asparagus plumosus J.G.Baker
Tonga
Ha‘apai Group
Lifuka Island introduced
invasive
Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (pp. 79-80)
Voucher cited: Yuncker 15704
Tonga
Ha‘apai Group
Lifuka Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1953) (voucher ID: BISH 112579)
Taxon name on voucher: Asparagus plumosus J.G.Baker
Tonga
Ha‘apai Group
Lifuka and Foa Islands introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 6)
As Asparagus setaceus
Tonga
Ha‘apai Group
‘Uiha Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 6)
As Asparagus setaceus. Voucher: Flynn 6878 (PTBG. US)
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
‘Eua Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 6)
As Asparagus setaceus
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
‘Eua Island introduced
invasive
Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (pp. 79-80)
Vouchers cited: Hürlimann 236, Yuncker 15613
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
‘Eua Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1953) (voucher ID: BISH 112580)
Taxon name on voucher: Asparagus plumosus J.G.Baker
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 6)
As Asparagus setaceus
Tonga
Vava‘u Group
Vava‘u Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 6)
As Asparagus setaceus
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
Australia (continental) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Australian Biological Resources Study (2013)
Naturalized in South Australia; Persistent in old gardens in Victoria, but possibly not naturalized.
Naturalized
Australia
Australia (continental)
New South Wales introduced
invasive
cultivated
Australian Biological Resources Study (2013)
Naturalized
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
Queensland Herbarium (2002) (p. 1)
Ecuador (Mainland)
Ecuador
Ecuador (Republic of) (continental) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (California) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
British Indian Ocean Territory
Chagos Archipelago
Diego Garcia Island introduced
cultivated
Rivers, Julie (2004) (p. 7)
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized

Comments:  A forest invader in Tonga, particularly noted on Lifuka/Foa and ‘Uiha (Ha‘apai group of islands), but reportedly present throughout the archipelago (Space & Flynn, 2001).


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This page was created on 21 MAY 2004 and was last updated on 9 FEB 2010.