Bath Asparagus (Ornithogalum pyrenaicum)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Bath Asparagus
Ornithogalum pyrenaicum
Liliaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    Young shoots – cooked[1, 5, 46, 61]. The young, unexpanded flowering shoots are cooked and served like asparagus[2, 4, 17, 177, 183].

  • Cautionary Notes

    Skin contact with the bulb can cause dermatitis in sensitive people[65]. Any toxins in this plant are concentrated in the bulb[200].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[200]. Sow the seed thinly and leave the seedlings undisturbed in the pots for their first dormancy, but apply liquid feed at intervals, especially in their second year of growth. Divide the bulbs at the end of their second year of growth, putting 2 – 3 bulbs in each pot. Grow them on for one more year and them plant them out into their permanent positions whilst they are dormant. The seed can also be sown in a cold frame in early spring. Division of offsets in September/October[200]. The larger bulbs can be replanted immediately into their permanent positions. It is best to pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on for a year before planting them out when dormant in late summer.
An easily grown plant, succeeding in ordinary garden soil[1, 42], thriving in sun or shade[42]. Succeeds in dry soils and, once established, is drought tolerant[190]. Plants are hardy to about -20¡c[200]. Grows well in the wild garden[200]. The flowering shoots used to be sold as a food crop in Bath market[183].
S. Europe. Naturalized in Britain.

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*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.