Asparagus Fern – Not Edible

Q: My mother’s asparagus fern is producing small but tasty asparagus shoots. I never heard of a fern producing an edible vegetable. Have you? I guess it’s called asparagus fern for a reason.

A: Hmmm…although asparagus fern, Asparagus densiflorus is related to common asparagus, Asparagus officinalis, I’m not sure you should be eating it. The berries cause stomach upset and the foliage can cause skin irritation. Even though it is called a “fern” due to the thin foliage, you can tell it’s not a fern because it has flowers and red, berry-like seed. The fiddleheads of some ferns are edible but I have never tasted them. My advice is to enjoy the foliage of asparagus fern but keep it out of your kitchen.

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Asparagus Fern?

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