Document Type


Publication Date



asparagus, vegetable, spring, nutrition

Extension Number

ExEx 6009


Asparagus is an ancient vegetable, having been cultivated for over 2000 years. An ancient Roman author, Cato the Elder, in 200 B.C. wrote detailed directions for growing asparagus that are close to current recommendations. There are a number of species, but only one, Asparagus officinalis L., is cultivated for food. Asparagus is a favorite spring vegetable, both for its earliness and its distinctive taste. Not only is it low in calories, asparagus is an excellent source of vitamin A and contains significant amounts of calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin, and vitamin C. Although commercial asparagus production in the United States is concentrated in California, Washington, and Michigan, many other areas have potential for producing asparagus. In South Dakota, the eastern end of the state and the Black Hills are two areas where asparagus can be grown most successfully.


Updated September 2001.