Wheat asparagus (Asparagus acutifolius)

It is a perennial shrub, very climbing, up to 2m high, woody stems, thick, short and fleshy rhizome from which emerge the new stems, 2 to 5mm in diameter, papillose, green-glaucous turning gray with age, and producing numerous branches with liana bearing.

It is found in clear areas, near pines, carob trees and other taller trees and plants, sheltered by their shade.


At first glance, wheat asparagus tangles its branches in the shelter of larger plants, in flat formations covered with small thorns with slight hints of yellow at the end of summer and the shiny black of its fruits.

Its leaves are small, narrow and scaly, and are accompanied by a large number of small dark green cladodes (branch extensions of 2-8 x 0.2-0.6mm, in fascicles of 3, triangular with a brownish band and narrow margins, which end in stiff and strong spines of 5mm and perform the functions of leaves) covering almost the entire plant.

From July to October it produces yellow, pedunculate, slightly aromatic, hermaphrodite or unisexual flowers in fascicles of 1 to 2 and pedicels of 3 to 7 mm, usually contained in the upper half.

Its fruits are toxic black spherical berries with the seed inside.

Already in Egypt, Greece and Rome they were cultivated to consume their tender shoots and although it lost relevance around the Middle Ages, it returned to value around the seventeenth century.

The Latin term Asparagus comes from the Greek aspharagos and means young or tender shoot.

The epithet triguero comes from the ease of finding it in wheat and other cereal fields; something that changed when the Roman plow was replaced by the tractor.

Its main use is gastronomic. Valued for its wild, slightly bitter flavor, it is consumed in omelets, scrambled or as an ingredient in stuffing, but also fried or grilled as an accompaniment to meat, fish or with other vegetables. It also has diuretic, depurative, hypotensive and laxative properties.