Garden Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) is a spring vegetable, a flowering perennial plant species. It is native to most of western Europe – from northern Spain north to Ireland, Great Britain, and northwest Germany, Africa and Asia and is widely cultivated as a vegetable crop. Asparagus is a herbaceous plant growing to 100–150 centimeters tall, with stout stems and much-branched feathery foliage. The leaves are in fact cladodes (modified stems) in the axis of scale leaves. They are 6–32 mm long and 1 mm broad, and clustered 4–15 together. Water makes up 93% of plant.
Only young shoots are eaten. Once the buds start to open “ferning out”, the shoots quickly turn woody. To cultivate white asparagus, the shoots are covered with soil as they grow, without exposure to sunlight, so the shoots remain white in colour.