Friday, January 18, 2013

List of Asparagus Varieties and Their Types

While there are only 3 types of asparagus, green, purple and white, there are a handful of varieties to choose from. Whichever variety is grown will come back time and time again for up to 15 years or more, so when choosing a variety, make sure it's one you love.

Types of Asparagus 

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Green: Green asparagus is the most common type seen in produce sections. It is less fibrous than purple varieties and slightly thinner. They get their green color through the photosynthesis process.


Purple: Purple asparagus is sweeter and slightly thicker than green and white varieties. It gets its color from the high levels of anthocyanins in the plant which are high in antioxidants. 

White: White asparagus is very similar to green varieties in taste, texture and size. It gets its white color from growing in the dark where it cannot photosynthesize. White varieties are typically more expensive to buy than other types because of its limited supply. 

Varieties of Asparagus 

Asparagus produce both male and female plants, making it a monoecious vegetable. Male plants produce higher yields, but both male and female plants will produce tender stalks.

Jersey Knight Asparagus

Jersey Knight
Produces high-yields from 99.5% all male plants. Spears grow to 5/8 inches in diameter with bright green stalks and dark purple tops and bracts. Plants grow 24 inches to 5 feet tall. Zones 2-8. Resists Crown Rot and Rust. Disease Resistant. Harvest in early summer.

Purple Passion Asparagus

Purple Passion
Produces medium yields. Grows sweet, tender, purple spears. Spears grow to .5 inches in diameter and 3-5 feet tall. Zones 2-8. Disease resistant. Harvest from early to mid summer. 

Jersey Supreme Hybrid Asparagus

Jersey Supreme
Produces high yields of 10 pound crops each year from all male plants. Grows mid-size succulent spears which are ready for harvest the second year after planting. Zones 2-9. Adapts easily to stress, drought and cold. 

Jersey Giant Hybrid

Produces high yields of male plants only. Plants grow up to 12 inches tall and are very tasty. Resists rust. Ready to harvest after 3 years. 

Mary Washington Asparagus

Spears are green with purple tips. Plants grow up to 12 inches tall. Ready for harvest after 3 years.

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