I have this plant in my garden in south India. It has spiky leaves,


The flowers are white,


And it has bulbs in the roots


What is the name of this plant?

  • I should let you know I have been working on this question. Do not give up hope. I've enlisted the help of my bigtime mentor in plant science. We've narrowed it down but not to give up erroneous info just now... – stormy Jun 9 '14 at 19:34
  • How big are the flowers? Is this an aquatic plant, a semi-aquatic plant? Is this native to India? Any fragrance? – stormy Jun 10 '14 at 17:28
  • its not an aquatic plant or a semi-aquatic plant. small flowers as in the image shown also bears fruits of red color in a small spherical shape.. – Rugmangathan Jun 11 '14 at 8:43
  • @stormy Anything yet from your big-time mentor? :) – J. Musser Jun 15 '14 at 1:02
  • Nope...shoot, he is not doing well physically. I had hoped to get him involved with this site. I'm working on terminology and then I'll try the key again. This should be so simple. Got as far as Olive family. Went to India's native flora and ornamentals hoping to get a glimpse but no luck so far. Do you use a key on the internet? Which one? – stormy Jun 15 '14 at 3:32

It is an asparagus fern, possibly Asparagus aethiopicus (often confused with Asparagus densiflorus), though I wouldn't be surprised if it was another less documented species. Shatavari (शतावरी), Asparagus racemosus, is a common asparagus fern in India. It is also a likely species. Accoring to wikipedia and inherent in the name Shatawari, the plant is used as herbal medicine. Asparagus ferns are not true ferns but are closely related to the asparagus we eat.

  • 1
    I am absolutely sure this is the question I meant to answer and I am very confident in my answer. – Oppa Gingham Style Jun 16 '14 at 20:18
  • I know it is hard not to believe that it is not a lilium, but look closely at the triple-cadode leaves that alternate upwards at about 160-degrees from the last, and compare to close-up images on Google of wild asparagus fern. This plant of course isn't as compact and pretty as a common Sperengi in a nursery's houseplant section. – Oppa Gingham Style Jun 16 '14 at 20:52
  • Also note that the flowers closely resemble that of an Allium, which is of the same order, monocot order Asparagales. – Oppa Gingham Style Jun 16 '14 at 20:56

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