Asparagus virgatus

Asparagus virgatus.

Family Asparagaceae s.l. > Subfamily Asparagoideae.
The broom or slender asparagus is found in S. E. Queensland.
It can form large clumps that smother surrounding vegetation.
Originally a garden plant it is now a weed but also commonly used as greenery with cut flowers.

A small, perennial shrublet 1 or 1.5 m high with fibrous roots but no tubers.
The fine, branched stems, erect to slightly arching, have no spines.

The spirally aranged leaves are reduced to small scales.
There are 3 (1 – 7) soft, dark green cladodes in each leaf axil.
They are up to 2 cm cm long with a pointed tip.
Cylindrical in cross section they are very fine being only 0.5 to 1 mm wide.

Axillary inflorescences are solitary, drooping flowers, on jointed pedicels about 1 cm long.
The bisexual flowers have 6 tepals about 3 mm long that curve backwards.
The tepals are white with a greenish midrib and purple to brown underneath.
The 6 stamens are about 3 mm long.
The superior ovary, with 3 locules, has a single 1 to 2 mm long style.

The globular berries, about 5 mm across, ripen from green to red then orange.
Present most of the year each berry has a single black seed.