Asparagus, or garden asparagus, folk name sparrow grass, scientific name Asparagus officinalis, is a perennial flowering plant species in the genus Asparagus. Its young shoots are used as a spring vegetable.
It was once classified in the lily family, like the related Allium species, onions and garlic. However, genetic research places lilies, Allium, and asparagus in three separate families—the Liliaceae, Amaryllidaceae, and Asparagaceae, respectively—with the Amaryllidaceae and Asparagaceae being grouped together in the order Asparagales. Sources differ as to the native range of Asparagus officinalis, but generally include most of Europe and western temperate Asia. It is widely cultivated as a vegetable crop.
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