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.

Rating: Moderate

Cal-IPC Resources

  • 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.
  • CalWeedMapper - Statewide maps, climate models, and reports.
  • Cal-IPC News - Our quarterly newsletter. Each issue is available as a pdf.
  • Cal-IPC Symposium Proceedings - Presentations and papers from our annual Symposium.
  • Don't Plant a Pest! - Select your region to find non-invasive alternatives to ornamental species. Also see our statewide brochure on trees.

    Other Resources

    Symposium Presentations

    • Ratay, S. and J. Knapp (2007). Figs and bridal creeper: Two stubborn weeds that require ingenuity. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2007. San Diego, CA, California Invasive Plant Council.
    • Knapp, J. (2004). A gardener’s dream, a land manager’s nightmare: The spread of horticultural invasive plants into the wildlandsof Santa Catalina Island. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2004. Ventura, CA.
    • Pirosko, C. and S. Schoenig (2004). Forbs working group. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2004. Ventura, CA.

    Cal-IPC News Articles

    • Randall, R. P. and S. G. S. Lloyd (2003). Weed warning from downunder: The weed potential of selected South African plants in cultlivation in California. CalEPPC News. 11: 4-6.
    • Giessow, J. (2000). Plant of potential concern: Asparagus asparagoides. CalEPPC News. 9: 7-8.