Herb: Bath Asparagus

Latin name: Ornithogalum pyrenaicum

Family: Liliaceae (Lily Family)

Edible parts of Bath Asparagus:

Young shoots - cooked. The young, unexpanded flowering shoots are cooked and served like asparagus.

Description of the plant:


60 cm
(2 feet)

to July

Habitat of the herb:

Woods and scrub. Dry stony places.

Propagation of Bath Asparagus:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Sow the seed thinly and leave the seedlings undisturbed in the pots for their first dormancy, but apply liquid feed at intervals, especially in their second year of growth. Divide the bulbs at the end of their second year of growth, putting 2 - 3 bulbs in each pot. Grow them on for one more year and them plant them out into their permanent positions whilst they are dormant. The seed can also be sown in a cold frame in early spring. Division of offsets in September/October. The larger bulbs can be replanted immediately into their permanent positions. It is best to pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on for a year before planting them out when dormant in late summer.

Cultivation of the herb:

Woods and scrub. Dry stony places.

Medicinal use of Bath Asparagus:

None known

Known hazards of Ornithogalum pyrenaicum:

Skin contact with the bulb can cause dermatitis in sensitive people. Any toxins in this plant are concentrated in the bulb.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.