Ming Fern
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Ming Fern
ntroduced Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Ming Fern, Zigzag Shrub, Pom Pom Asparagus Fern
Botanical name: Asparagus retrofractus    Family: Asparagaceae (Asparagus family)
Synonyms: Protasparagus retrofractus

Often mistaken for a fern, Ming Fern is a garden plant grown outdoors. It is native to South Africa. The foliage consists of pom-poms of soft needle leaves in dense bundles that give a soft cloudy appearance overall. Upright, stiff, woody beige stems have a unique branching structure that inspired the common name, zig zag fern. Ming Fern is often pruned into sculptural forms in gardens. It is also a popular subject for bonsai. Ming fern develops insignificant white flower in summer that may produce small dark fruits if pollinators are present.

Identification credit: Prashant Awale
Photographed at Botanical Garden, Nagpur.
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