Improvement Status: Wild
Seeds per packet: ~15
BOTANICAL SAMPLE - NOT GERMINATION TESTED
Life cycle: Perennial
This is a really exciting single plant selection from Andy Hahn, a longtime EFN collaborator and source of some of our most popular seeds. As he mentions below, this may be the only time this particular seed is ever offered.
"I am working on developing an asparagus that produces well when grown without irrigation here in Colorado (dry land). My plants are still small and only starting to produce, but this year the plant that was largest contributor to my genepool produced a huge crop of seeds. It is a plant that is growing in the middle of an open dry field and consistently produces large tasty spears (I and others harvest from it every year) with no supplemental water. Most feral asparagus here grows in hedgerows and on fence lines where there is a source of water and shade, but this one is happy baking in the sun.
It is on a site where an old farmhouse used to be (I think) and could be an escape from their garden. This seed from the mother plant may be a one time offering as the plant rarely makes many seeds (or they all get eaten).
The name "white hawk" comes from a leucistic red tailed hawk that lived in the area and nested at this site for many years. He was a local celebrity."
As with all other asparagus cultivars, blanching (mounding up soil around the plants or otherwise keeping light off them) will yield white asparagus spears.
Start asparagus seedlings in spring in a flat or in their weed-free permanent spot. Young asparagus seedlings are very small and flimsy looking, but the plants become resilient at a young age (so much so that they can withstand accidental snapping or crushing and start growing a new shoot within weeks of emerging). You can lose them to weeds though, so keep them well protected from encroachment until fully grown, which takes around three or four years from seed. Every seedling of this perennial crop is unique, so if you get a really good clone you can give it a name (as Andy has done with this one) and start spreading it around.