During the winter chill, gardeners are often caught daydreaming of warm weather and the colors of spring. We fantasize about all the great plants we can add to our gardens including experimenting with new and usual ones. At the Scott Arboretum we also experiment with potential new garden plants. This fall, I stumbled upon our garden supervisor Chuck Hinkle’s trial of Asparagus schoberioides.
This asparagus caught my eye with a deep yellow fall color dotted with brilliant red berries. Native to Siberia, this edible perennial is dioecious, requiring male and female plants to produce those attention-grabbing berries. The foliage of Asparagus schoberioides has a flowing and frilly texture. Chuck notes that “it reminds me of Amsonia hubrichtii in texture.” In our trial of Asparagus schoberioides, average well drained soil in sun to part sun keeps it happy.
We sourced our Asparagus schoberioides plants from John Story of MeadowBrook Farms. MeadowBrook received their plants from Chanticleer, who originally sourced them from a plant expedition trip by the Morris Arboretum. Interestingly, Chuck initially discovered this attractive plant outside of the Visitor Center of the Morris Arboretum. Apparently, Asparagus schoberioides has caught everyone’s eye as we are all experimenting with it to determine if it will be a good garden plant.
I offer this plant to spark your daydreaming of perfect gardening weather and great gardening ideas. I encourage you to consider what plants you will trial in your garden in this year. And don’t worry, I will let you know if Asparagus schoberioides proves to be a worthy ornamental plant after our trial is complete. Happy daydreaming.