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Biosecurity Advisory 2/2019 – Removal from sale of cultivars of Asparagus aethiopicus

Biosecurity Tasmania advises Tasmanian importers and distributors of nursery plants that cultivars of (Plant Biosecurity Manual List A plant species) Asparagus aethiopicus have been detected in outlets, and removed from sale.

Biosecurity Tasmania will be closely monitoring nursery imports for A. aethiopicus cultivars. These will be prevented entry to Tasmania, and removed from sale if found in nurseries.

 

Plant Biosecurity Manual List A species Asparagus aethiopicus (common names include asparagus fern, ground asparagus, basket asparagus fern, and basket asparagus) has been detected on sale in several retail outlets in Tasmania during 2018. The detected plants were labelled only under trade/cultivar names, without a species name. The plants have been referred to as ‘Asparagus Meyerii’, but could potentially be referred to under a long list of cultivar names, including (but not limited to) Asparagus ‘Myersii’, Asparagus ‘Sprengeri’, and Asparagus ‘Variegata’.

 

These plants are regarded as cultivars of Asparagus aethiopicus, and were formally declared as weeds in 2017 under the Weed Management Act 1999. Propagation, trade in, and movement of these plants in Tasmania is prohibited. 

 

Biosecurity Tasmania requests that horticultural plant wholesalers and retailers remain vigilant in ensuring no Asparagus aethiopicus plants are on offer, or in their stock. These plants may be labelled only under their cultivar name so if there is any doubt industry members are asked to please contact Biosecurity Tasmania to have the plants identified.

 

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact Michael Noble, Program Coordinator (Invasive Species), Biosecurity Operations Branch, Phone 03 6478 4128 or email michael.noble@dpipwe.tas.gov.au