Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Asparagus medeoloides (L.f.) Thunb.

Frost tender twining sub-shrub with leathery, ovate cladophylles and small, solitary or paired greenish-white flowers followed by red berries.  To 1.5m.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Myrsiphyllum asparagoides, though hitherto never figured in this country, was introduced into England so early as 1702, by the Duchess of Beaufort.  Although long since almost gone out of cultivation, we have no hesitation in calling attention to it, as one of the most elegant greenhouse climbers that can well be found; nothing, indeed, can exceed the feathery lightness of the plant when well grown and flowered; and whether on account of its graceful habit, its flowering in mid-winter, the uniformity of its bright-green foliage, and perfume of its pearly flowers, it is one of the plants best suited for table decoration and ornamentation generally hitherto introduced.  It is a native of various parts of the Cape of Good Hope colony, whence the plants here figured were sent by Mr. Cooper, and contributed by our friend W. Wilson Saunders, Esq., F.R.S.  It flowered at Kew from January to March.  The only other described species, M. angustifolia, appears to me not even to rank as a variety, the leaves being most variable on the same specimen.’  [BM t.5584/1866].

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue [T.669/1857].


Published Mar 20, 2009 - 04:15 PM | Last updated Mar 24, 2010 - 01:58 PM

Illustrated are the leathery, ovate cladophylles and small greenish-white flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.5584, 1866.

Asparagus medeoloides (L.f.) Thunb. | BM t.5584/1866 | BHL

Family Asparagaceae
Region of origin

South Africa

  • Asparagus asparagoides (L.) Druce
  • Medeola asparagoides L.
  • Myrsiphyllum asparigoides Willd.
Common Name

Smilax of florists

Name in the Camden Park Record

Medeola asparagoides 

Confidence level high