Asparagus umbellatus 

Scope: Global & Europe
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Asparagales Asparagaceae

Scientific Name: Asparagus umbellatus Link
Taxonomic Notes: Asparagus umbellatus Link is a wild relative of asparagus, A. officinalis L. Two subsbspecies and two varieties are native to Europe: A. umbellatus var. flavescens Svent., A. umbellatus ssp. lowei (Kunth) Valdés, A. umbellatus Link ssp. umbellatus and A. umbellatus Link var. umbellatus (Euro+Med PlantBase 2006).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-04-14
Assessor(s): Draper Munt, D., Magos Brehm, J., Carvalho, M., Duarte, M.C., Tavares, M. & Santos Guerra, A.
Reviewer(s): Nieto, A. & Kell, S.P.

Although the area of occupancy (AOO) of Asparagus umbellatus is probably less than 20,000 km2, it is assessed as Least Concern because it occurs in an area of extensive, suitable habitat which appears not to be under threat and the population is increasing.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:A. umbellatus is native to the Canary Islands and Madeira (USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program 2010).

A. umbellatus ssp. umbellatus is found in the Canary Islands of Tenerife, Gran Canaria, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro. Bramwell and Bramwell (2001) recorded it from the following localities:
  • Tenerife: Sierra Anaga, Orotava valley, Güimar and Bandas del Sur.
  • Gran Canaria: Caldera de Bandama, Tarifa, Telde, Guia, Agaete.
  • La Palma: Los Tilos Barranco de las Angustias and La Galga.
  • La Gomera: the north coast, Agulo and Roque Cano de Vallehermoso.
  • El Hierro: Cuesta de Sabinosa.
In Madeira A. umbellatus ssp. lowei is found on the northeast coast (Press and Short 1994) and in the Desertas Islands (Borges et al. 2008).
The area of occupancy (AOO) of Asparagus umbellatus is probably less than 20,000 km2.
Countries occurrence:
Portugal (Madeira); Spain (Canary Is.)
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:A. umbellatus ssp. umbellatus is locally very common on Tenerife and common in Gran Canaria (Bramwell and Bramwell 2001). In Madeira, A. umbellatus ssp. lowei is very rare (Press and Short 1994). It is considered that overall the species is increasing.
Current Population Trend:Increasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:In the Canary Islands, A. umbellatus ssp. umbellatus is found on cliffs and rocks in shrub habitats and in Juniperus and dry Laurisilva forest zones (Bramwell and Bramwell 2001).  In Madeira, in addition to natural habitats, A. umbellatus ssp. lowei is also cultivated in gardens (Press and Short 1994).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: It is a wild relative of and potential gene donor to asparagus, A. officinalis. A. umbellatus ssp. umbellatus is cultivated as an ornamental in Madeira (Press and Short 1994).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The genus Asparagus is listed in Annex I of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

EURISCO reports only two germplasm accessions of A. umbellatus held in European genebanks, both of which are reported to be of wild or weedy origin. Both of these accessions are reported to originate from Spain and are stored in the genebank of the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Agrónomos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (EURISCO Catalogue 2010). Further germplasm collection and duplicated ex situ storage is a priority for this species.

The species occurs in protected areas in Madeira and Desertas and in the Canary Islands.

Citation: Draper Munt, D., Magos Brehm, J., Carvalho, M., Duarte, M.C., Tavares, M. & Santos Guerra, A. 2011. Asparagus umbellatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T176411A7236012. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided