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

leaves

The flowers are white,

flowers

And it has bulbs in the roots

roots

What is the name of this plant?

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  • 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, 2014 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, 2014 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.. Jun 11, 2014 at 8:43
  • @stormy Anything yet from your big-time mentor? :)
    – J. Musser
    Jun 15, 2014 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, 2014 at 3:32

1 Answer 1

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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.

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    I am absolutely sure this is the question I meant to answer and I am very confident in my answer. Jun 16, 2014 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. Jun 16, 2014 at 20:52
  • Also note that the flowers closely resemble that of an Allium, which is of the same order, monocot order Asparagales. Jun 16, 2014 at 20:56

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