One of the reasons this plant has become so popular is its striking architectural form with it’s tentacle like branches. It has been used in the children’s garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne and adds to the fun and frivolity of this wonderful play area. ‘Meyersii’ received the Royal Horticultural Society award of Garden Merit in 1993.
Asparagus meyerii is also know as Asparagus densiflorus ‘Myersii’ or the Foxtail Fern. It originates from rocky woodlands and thickets of South Africa and is not actually a fern but a member of the asparagus family. In some parts of Australia it is considered invasive, although this meyerii selection has less berries than the species form and therefore much less of an invasive threat.
This herbaceous perennial has long wiry stems covered with linear, needle-like green cladodes. Cladodes are the short, fleshy, and green stems that have single internodes, so they are not actually leaves. Very small, slightly fragrant white flowers bloom in late spring to early summer. The flowers are followed by small red berries. The fronds also have small thorns along the stems
Here in Melbourne it grows well as a feature plant and has become much sort after in recent years where demand has outstripped supply. It prefers a semi shaded to shaded position and can even be grown successfully as an indoor plant and also outdoors in pots. It can be propagated from seed or by digging it up and dividing its tuberous roots. A ragged looking plant can be cut almost to the ground and will usually re-grow successfully.
It is thought the Cultivar name of Meyerii’ or ‘Myersii’ may honoúr the famous plant explorer Frank Nicholas Meyer (1875-1918) of the Meyer lemon fame.