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What is asparagus? Tracing the Origins of Vietnamese Asparagus Officinalis.

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

The origins of Vietnamese asparagus is a perennial flowering plant with delicate, edible shoots that are commonly referred to as spears or stalks. These tender spears are highly valued for their taste and versatility in various culinary creations. Asparagus Officinalis, the specific species we are discussing, is a commonly cultivated and consumed variety globally, including Vietnam.


The origins of asparagus
The origins of asparagus

Tracing the Origins of Vietnamese Asparagus Officinalis.


The Roman Empire played a significant role in the spread and popularity of asparagus. The origins of asparagus from Emperor Augustus was particularly fond of this vegetable and had special boats designed to transport it from the shores of the Mediterranean to Rome. The Romans embraced asparagus as a delicacy and cultivated it extensively in their gardens.

Tracing the Origins of Asparagus Officinalis.
Tracing the Origins of Asparagus Officinalis.

During the Middle Ages, asparagus cultivation declined in Europe due to various factors, including war and changing agricultural practices. However, its popularity resurfaced during the Renaissance period when it regained favor among the elite. Asparagus became a symbol of luxury and was featured prominently in lavish feasts and banquets.


Asparagus made its way to the New World during the 16th century when European explorers introduced it to North America. It took root in regions with favorable growing conditions, and Native Americans soon embraced it as a valuable addition to their diet.

In the modern era, asparagus cultivation has expanded worldwide. Countries such as China, Peru, and Mexico are among the top producers of asparagus today. It is cultivated in diverse climates and has become a staple in many cuisines around the globe.



In Vietnam…


Asparagus has been introduced to Vietnam for a long time. However, it was not until 2005 that the area of asparagus growing in our country developed. Currently, asparagus seedlings are grown in many southern provinces of our country such as Binh Thuan, Ninh Thuan, Ba Ria Vung Tau, Dong Nai, Cu Chi area of Ho Chi Minh City. Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Phuoc, Vinh Long, etc. to serve the needs of domestic consumption.


 Ninh Thuan is the province with the largest asparagus growing area
Ninh Thuan is the province with the largest asparagus growing area

According to agricultural sources, at present, Ninh Thuan is the province with the largest asparagus growing area in our country with about 426 ha (as of November 2022), mainly in An Hai communes (Ninh Phuoc district), Xuan Hai commune (Ninh Hai district). ), Van Hai ward (Phan Rang - Thap Cham city) and Phuoc Dan town (Ninh Phuoc district).


Morphological characteristics of asparagus seedlings.

Morphological characteristics of asparagus seedlings.
Morphological characteristics of asparagus seedlings.

Asparagus has a thick, spongy, light brown stem and is about 5-6mm in diameter. The stem grows underground in the soil, bearing many long roots, so it is often called rhizome. The stem that rises above the ground will have needle-shaped leaves. Asparagus also has flowers, but the flowers are very small, only about 6mm long, green, bell-shaped and grow in groups of 4-6 flowers in the leaf axils. Asparagus fruit is spherical, thick and has a characteristic red color.


The flowers of the asparagus plant are very small, green, bell-shaped. The flowers are about 6mm long, usually gathered 4-6 in a group located in the leaf axils of the leaf-shaped branches. Asparagus plants with male flowers usually have more sprouts, produce higher asparagus, and live about 25% longer than plants with female flowers. However, the plants that produce male flowers have lower quality shoots than the female ones.


The fruit of strawberry seedlings is spherical, thick red. Asparagus is a berry with an average diameter of about 0.9mm. The fruit usually has 3 compartments, each compartment for 2 black seeds. The seeds have a very hard shell with an average diameter of about 0.4mm. Each gram has about 40-60 seeds.


Asparagus seedlings include 3 main colors, people often classify asparagus by this color, including:

  • Purple Asparagus: This type of asparagus contains many anthocyanins, phytochemicals.

  • Green Asparagus: This is the kind that grows in a steady state.

  • White Asparagus: The plant does not absorb enough chlorophyll.

Asparagus and willow trees are two distinct plant species with notable difference.


Asparagus and willow trees are two distinct plant
Asparagus and willow trees are two distinct plant

Perhaps many people will wonder if the willow tree used for flower arrangements and decoration is the asparagus plant because there are extremely similar characteristics between them. When growing asparagus from F1 seeds and seeds after F2, F3, F4 and to Fn, a change occurs that causes the leaves of the asparagus plant to become small, thin and slender, so everyone commonly known as willow. At this time, the appearance of the asparagus plant is very beautiful, gentle and beautiful, so it is often bought by people to arrange flowers to decorate their homes and offices.


In addition, the asparagus plant is also known as the willow tree. At the time of sowing, when the leaves of the asparagus have become smaller, the phenomenon of drooping appears, so it is very similar to the willow tree. In addition, at this time, the willow tree, also known as asparagus, has entered the stage of gradual degeneration, so it can no longer keep the plump and plump asparagus buds, so it is rarely used for cooking. Usually it will only be used for bouquets or as a scene to match its unique and small appearance.


What is the price of asparagus?


Asparagus has different selling prices depending on the type and the selling price in Hanoi also has a difference compared to Ho Chi Minh City. HCM.


In Hanoi, the price of asparagus ranges from 90,000 to 120,000 VND/kg. In the city. In Ho Chi Minh City, the price is about 80,000 – 100,000 VND/kg. You can buy asparagus at markets, super markets, food stores, clean agricultural products stores, etc. Each selling point also has a difference in price but not too much difference.


What is the price of asparagus?
What is the price of asparagus?
When selecting asparagus, it is advisable to choose fresh, vibrant green spears with compact and unblemished stems. Avoid selecting asparagus with faded color or signs of wilting. Additionally, it is essential to inspect the base of the asparagus spear carefully. Avoid choosing specimens with dry or wrinkled ends, as these indicate potential quality issues. Opting for asparagus that meets these criteria ensures that you are selecting the freshest and most flavorful options available.




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