Originally from South Africa and introduced to New Zealand about 1970, feathery-leaved climbing asparagus (Asparagus scandens) forms dense patches on the ground and climbs up to about 4 metres. It has tough, long-lived tubers that resprout easily. It tolerates a range of soil types and temperatures, including shady areas beneath the forest canopy. It is found mainly in the North Island. The seeds are dispersed by birds, and the tubers are spread by soil movement and garden dumping. Because the plant is so dense, it deprives native seedlings of light.
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Department of Conservation
Photograph by Susan M. Timmins
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