Escaped from cultivation (Long and Lakela 1971, Wunderlin 1982) displacing native ground cover and understory shrubs (Austin et al. 1992). In Florida, documented as invading xeric hammocks, scrub, coastal dunes, coastal berms, cabbage palm hammocks, upland mixed forests, and ruderal communities. Sprenger's asparagus-fern is listed as a Category I invasive by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council.
Evergreen perennial herb from a crown of tuberous roots, to 60 cm (2 ft) in height, with stems stiff or spreading-arching to 2 m (6 ft) long. Larger branches usually bearing minute axillary spines. Branchlets (cladophylls) flat, needlelike, light to bright green, to 2.5 cm (1 in) long, clustered at branch nodes..
Not a fern. Leaves tiny, scale-like, at bases of branchlets. Flowers small, white or pinkish white, with 3 petals and 3 sepals, and fragrant. Fruit a bright red berry about 8 mm (½ inch) in diameter; 3 seeds per fruit.
A widely planted ground cover and potted plant that escaped from cultivation.
All of central and south Florida.
Do not plant. Remove existing plantings and potted plants before seeds can be dispersed by birds. Cut and apply herbicide. Remove roots from ground.