Asparagus litoralis Steven, 1857

Asparagus litoralis imageSynonyms: Asparagus misczenkoi Iljin; Asparagus neglectus Kar et Kir; Asparagus monoclados Vved.; Asparagus ferganensis Vved

Common names: Engl: Coastal asparagus; Bulg: Asperja; Russ: Sparzha pribrezhnaya; Turk: Kiyi asparagusu; Ukr: Kholodok pryberezhny



Taxonomic descriptions: It is a perennial grass 30-50 cm in height. The plant is dioecious. Cladodes are thick (0.3-0.7 mm in diameter), bare, furrowed, near 1.0-1.5 cm lengthwise, in a high degree fan-like diverging from stem, in bundles of 4-10 ones. Flowers are located in the top of the floriferous stems and branches. The berry is red, near 7-8 mm in diameter.

Asparagus litoralis arealIUCN Status:
    World level: NE
    Black Sea Regional level: VU
    Subregion level: VU in Ukraine


Habitats type, Critical habitats, Limiting factors: The plant prefer littoral strip, sands, cockle-shells, shingle and rocks. Critical habitats: Crimean coastline, in particular, Sudak, Shchebetovka, Maly Mayak, Ayudag mountain. Limiting factors: endemism, limited distribution and small population size; storm destructive action and phytophagans feeding.

Biology: Flowering - in May-June, fruit-bearing - in July-August. Reproduction - by seeds and vegetatively.

Population trends: Population is not numerous, it has a tendency to decline.

Threats: Picking for bunches decoration; habitat destruction because of the creation of artificial beaches.

Conservation measures taken: The species has been entered in the Red Data Book of Ukraine.

Conservation measures proposed: Revealing of species locations, population monitoring, organization of reservations in the Crimea (in Kerch and Tarkhankut peninsula areas). Can be cultivated as an edible plant.


  1. Rubtsov, N.I. (ed.), 1972. Opredelitel' vysshikh rasteniy Kryma. (Identification Book of the Crimean Higher Plants). Leningrad: Nauka, 550 pp., (in Russian).
  2. Luks, Y.A., Privalova, L.A., and Kryukova, I.V., 1976. Katalog redkikh, ischezayushchikh i unichtozhaemykh rasteniy flory Kryma, rekomenduyemykh dlya zapovednoy okhrany. (Catalogue of Rare, Disappearing and Exterminative Crimean Flora Plants Recommended for Protection). Yalta: GNBS, 24 pp., (in Russian).
  3. Kryukova , I.V., Luks, Yu.A., Privalova, L.A., et al., 1988. Redkiye rasteniya i zhivotnyye Kryma. (Rare Plants and Animals of the Crimea). Simferopol: Tavria, 176 pp., (in Russian).
  4. Novosad, V.V., 1992. Flora Kerchensko-Tamanskogo Regiona. (The Flora of the Kerch-Taman Region). Kiev: Naukova Dumka, 277 pp., (in Russian).
  5. Golubev, V.N., 1996. Biologicheskaya flora Kryma. (Biological Flora of the Crimea). Yalta: GNBS, 86 pp., (in Russian).
  6. Shelyag-Sosonko, Yu.R. (ed.), 1996. Chervona Knyga Ukrayiny. (The Red Data Book of Ukraine). Kyiv: Ukrayins'ka Entzyklopediya, 608 pp., (in Ukrainian).

Compiled by: L. Vakhrusheva