Asparagus (Asparagus densiflorus) HPWRA Score: 15 High-Risk Family: Asparagaceae
IMPACT: A highly invasive perennial plant. This shade-tolerant plant that produces bird-dispersed fruit, it is difficult to control once established due to an extensive root structure and ability to regrow from small parts of roots. Observed growing in the wild where it invades moist, low-light areas quickly. It spreads by seed and tubers, which sprout far from the main plant. It is often found for sale and prominently displayed in landscaping. It is considered invasive in 9 countries and is considered one of Hawai‘i’s worst invasive horticultural plants.
Pono Alternatives: Carex wahuensis (O`ahu sedge), Aglaonema commutatum (Chinese evergreen) Peperomia blanda var floribunda (arid-land peperomia, hairy peperomia, `ala`ala, `ala`ala wai nui, awalauakane, kupalii, kupao)
Description: Herbaceous perennial with insignificant white flowers that have a sweet smell and are short-lived. The evergreen leaves have short, needle-like leaflets that cascade down. The fruit can be either bright red or white, is pea-sized, and contains one large black seed in each one.
Comments from green industry professionals: “Invasive in my native forest”, “weedy”, “hard to eradicate from my yard”, “awful to remove-thorny above ground and deep underground”, “very invasive and hard to get rid of”, “No clients like this plant from my experience”, “can tolerate roundup spraying”, “The worst of the worst”, and “no safe place for them”