Botanical name

Asparagus asparagoides

Family

Asparagaceae

Common Name

Bridal Creeper, Bree-blaarklimop, Broad-leaved Asparagus

Description

Scrambling climber with wiry stem up to 2m with many small spindle-shaped tubers arising directly from the rhizome. False leaves (cladodes) are ovate, 25-40 x 8mm but variable in size and shape, tips sharply pointed; bears solitary, nodding white flowers in axils, the tepals joined below into a short tube curving back; stamens erect in the centre and protruding; sweetly scented. Fruit up to 10mm in diam, black when ripe.

The Asparagus family consists of subshrubs or climbers with true leaves reduced to scales; the leaf-like cladodes are in fact modified stems.

Used traditionally as a charm to increase fertility in cattle.

Popular with florists, known as Cape Smilax, and as a container plant. Introduced into gardens in Europe in the 1700's.

Habitat

Widespread in forests and bush

Flower Date

July to September