Dioecious herbs. Stems erect, up to 100 cm, glabrous. Leaf spur 1-3 mm. Cladodes 3-6 (-8) per fascicle, subulate, 0.5-3 cm x 0.2-0.4 mm, subterete, slightly flattened, irregularly grooved. Flowers of both sexes solitary or in clusters of 1-2(-4). Pedicels 8-15 mm, articulated near or above the middle. Male flower: perianth 5-6 mm, yellowish green. Filaments adnate to perianth segments for about half their length, anthers 1-1.5 mm. Female flower: perianth c. 3 mm. Berry red 6-8 mm in diameter.
Lectotype: “Habitat in Europae arinosis.” RCN: 2460. Herb. Linn. 434/1 (LINN) (Jarvis, Order out of Chaos: 325. 2007).
Distribution: Europe, Russia, Mongolia, Kazakstan, China (Xinjiang), C and SW Asia, N. W. Africa. Widely cultivated.
Very variable. Some cultivars are grown as vegetable. The new succulent shoots, which come up every year, constitute the Asparagus of commerce. Once started the plant continues to yield for well over 15 years. The plant is diuretic, laxative, cardiac and sedative (Kirtikar & Basu l. c. 4: 2502).
The plant is diuretic, laxative, cardiac and sedative (Kirtikar & Basu l. c. 4: 2502. 1991.