Asparagus acutifolius ?

Requests about identification of wild plants in Malta and Gozo. (Please include precise details and pictures to help the experts in their ID process)

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Asparagus acutifolius ?

Post by MWP admin » Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:27 pm

I know that Asparagus aphyllus is very variable, but some specimens (entire population) seen at Qala, Gozo - gave me a strong feeling that they were Asparagus acutifolius.

For example, this specimen I photographed had cladodes around 6mm long, more or less equal in size (except 1or2 in the cluster) and clusters at the tip of the branch with 6-10 cladodes (never more than 12, but almost always more than 5). Flora europaea says that A. acutifolius have 10-30 cladodes, but according Pignatti, 4-12 cladodes keys out as A. acutifolius (only 2-6 as aphyllus) ?!

Flora europaea:

Code: Select all

 
Cladodes subequal, less than 10 mm, in fascicles of
  (5-)10-30(-50) .................................................. 3. acutifolius
6 Cladodes distinctly unequal, usually more than 10 mm,
  in fascicles of 3-7 ..............................................4. aphyllus 
I found that the flowers of this specimen (and others in the area) were quite vivid yellow. I always had trouble with these two species, but maybe this one is truly A. acutifolius. !
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Post by IL-PINE » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:34 pm

saw exactly a similar specimen at Ghajn Tuffieha last week!
thought it was just a variable aphyllus.

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Post by jackpot » Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:47 pm

I am quite sure that this is aphyllus and not acutifolius with longer and thinner cladodes.

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Post by MWP admin » Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:35 pm

I still have my doubts folks, although it is only my stubborn head! Two things: 1) are the keys wrong? 2) A. acutifolius is recorded from Malta so where it is ? but 3) I have never seen a typical acutifolius for a sound judgement and 4) past botanists might had misidentified the species the same way I am doing! Nevertheless I need some more convincing evidence!

This photo is from a reliable source:
http://www.teline.fr/eng/Photographs/Al ... cutifolius
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Post by IL-PINE » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:22 pm

was seeing this trend, and read this on Sommier & Caruana Gatto's book. Upper part is the lower piece of Pg295, and the lower part is the upper piece of Pg296.

MWP you are echoing their words :)
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