asparagus


asparagus
asparaginous /as'peuh raj"euh neuhs/, adj.
/euh spar"euh geuhs/, n.
1. any plant of the genus Asparagus, of the lily family, esp. A. officianalis, cultivated for its edible shoots.
2. the shoots, eaten as a vegetable.
[bef. 1000; < L < Gk asp(h)áragos; r. OE sparagi ( < ML) and later sperage, sparrowgrass]

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Any plant of the genus Asparagus (lily family), which contains about 300 species native from Siberia to southern Africa.

The best-known and economically most important species is the garden asparagus (A. officinalis), cultivated as a green vegetable for its succulent spring stalks. Several African species are grown as ornamental plants. The poisonous species prized for their delicate and graceful foliage are A. plumosus (the feathery asparagus fern, or florists' fern
not a true fern), A. sprengeri, and A. asparagoides.

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▪ plant genus
 genus of the lily family (Liliaceae) with about 300 species native from Siberia to southern Africa. Best known is the garden asparagus, Asparagus officinalis, cultivated as a green vegetable for its succulent spring stalks. Several African species are grown as ornamental plants.

      Asparagus may be erect or climbing, and most of the species are more or less woody. The rhizome-like, or sometimes tuberous, roots give rise to conspicuous, leaflike branchlets; true leaves are reduced to small scales. Small, greenish-yellow flowers in the spring are followed by red berries in the fall.

      Garden asparagus, the most economically important species of the genus, is cultivated in most temperate and subtropical parts of the world. As a vegetable it has been prized by epicures since Roman times; it is most commonly served cooked, either hot or in salad; the classic accompaniment is hollandaise sauce. The world's leading producers of asparagus are Peru, the United States, and Spain. The vegetable is also grown extensively in Morocco, France, Italy, and Mexico. Commercial plantations are not undertaken in regions where the plant continues to grow throughout the year, for the shoots become more spindly and less vigorous each year; a rest period is required. Where climate is favourable and with proper care, an asparagus plantation may be productive for 10 to 15 years or longer. The best soil types for asparagus are deep, loose, light clays, with much organic matter, and light, sandy loams. Asparagus will thrive in soils too salty for other crops, but acid soils are to be avoided. The asparagus cutting season varies from 2 to 12 weeks, depending on age of the plantation and on climate.

      In parts of France, most notably at Argenteuil, asparagus is customarily grown underground to inhibit development of chlorophyll. This white asparagus is prized for its tenderness and delicate flavour. In classic French culinary nomenclature, the word “Argenteuil” denotes an asparagus garnish.

      The several poisonous species prized for their delicate and graceful foliage are: A. plumosus, the asparagus fern, or florists' fern (not a true fern), which has feathery sprays of branchlets often used in corsages and in other plant arrangements; and A. sprengeri and A. asparagoides, likewise grown for their attractive, lacy foliage.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Asparagus — Asparagus …   Wikipédia en Français

  • asparagus — [ asparagys ] n. m. • 1797; mot lat. « asperge » ♦ Plante ornementale (liliacées) voisine de l asperge, au feuillage très fin et décoratif. Bouquet d œillets et d asparagus. ● asparagus nom masculin (motlatin) Nom générique de l asperge.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • asparagus — ASPARÁGUS, asparaguşi, s.m. Plantă ornamentală din familia liliaceelor, cultivată pentru frunzuliţele ei foarte fine şi decorative (Asparagus silvestris). – Din fr. asparagus. Trimis de cata, 11.02.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  asparágus s. m., pl.… …   Dicționar Român

  • Asparagus — As*par a*gus ([a^]s*p[a^]r [.a]*g[u^]s), n. [L., fr. Gr. aspa ragos, asfa ragos; cf. sparga^n to swell with sap or juice, and Zend [,c]paregha prong, sprout, Pers. asparag, Lith. spurgas sprout, Skr. sphurj to swell. Perh. the Greek borrowed from …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • asparagus — late O.E. sparage, from L. asparagus (in M.L. often sparagus), from Gk. asparagos, of uncertain origin; probably from PIE root *sp(h)er(e)g to spring up (though perhaps from a non Greek source). In Middle English, asperages sometimes was regarded …   Etymology dictionary

  • asparagus — [ə spar′ə gəs, əsper′əgəs] n. [ModL < L < Gr asparagos < IE base * sp(h)er(e)g , to spring up, sprout > SPRING, SPARK1] 1. any of a genus (Asparagus) of plants of the lily family, with small, scalelike leaves, many flat or needlelike… …   English World dictionary

  • asparagus — asparágus (asparȃgus) m DEFINICIJA bot., v. šparoga ETIMOLOGIJA grč. aspáragos …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Asparăgus — (A. L.), Pflanzengattung aus der Familie der Liliaceen (Liliaceae Asphodeleae Asparageae), 6. Klasse 1. Ordnung L. mit einfacher, sechsblätteriger, unterständiger, einfacher Blüthenhülle, die an der Basis in ein mit dem Blüthenstiele gegliedertes …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Asparăgus — L. (Spargel), Gattung der Liliazeen, Kräuter oder Halbsträucher mit unterirdischer Grundachse, von der die oberirdischen, mehr oder weniger verzweigten, bisweilen kletternden Stämmchen ausgehen, kleinen, schuppigen oder dornigen Blättern, in… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Asparagus — Asparăgus, s. Spargel …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Asparagus — Asparagus, s. Spargel …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon