Asparagus asparagoides

Photo courtesy Joseph DiTomaso

Synonyms: Myriophyllum asparagoides, Asparagus medeoloides, Dracaena medeoloides, Elachanthera sewelliae, Luzuriaga sewelliaea, Medeola asparagoides

Common names: bridal creeper; African asparagus fern; ornamental asparagus; smilax asparagus

Asparagus asparagoides (bridal creeper or African asparagus fern) is a rhizomatous perennial herb (family Liliaceae) found in riparian woodlands of California’s central and south coast. Asparagus asparagoides colonizes both disturbed areas and undisturbed native habitats, but its current distribution is very limited. Plant shoots can form dense mats that limit light levels and then die back in the summer, creating a fire hazard. Plant colonies may also form a dense tuberous mat underground, preventing other plants from accessing soil moisture and nutrients.

Cal-IPC Rating: Moderate — Alert

Cal-IPC Assessment

Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.

Weed RIC Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

  • Figs and bridal creeper: Two stubborn weeds that require ingenuity. Ratay, Sarah; Knapp, John (2007)
  • A gardener’s dream, a land manager’s nightmare: The spread of horticultural invasive plants into the wildlands of Santa Catalina Island. Knapp, John (2004)
  • Forbs working group. Pirosko, Carri; Schoenig, Steve (2004)

Other Asparagus asparagoides Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - See the distribution of this species on Calflora's map of California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution information with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • Jepson Online Interchange for California Flora - Information on taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Federal database with information on identification and distribution, and links to websites in individual states.