Asparagus racemosus: Shathavari

Family: Asparagaceae
Common name: Satavar, Shathavari, Shatamull

A species of Asparagus specific to India and the Himalayas, Shathavari grows in rocky, gravelly terrain in the wild. They are not a favorite in gardens because of the thorns on the stems, and the unruly growing pattern.

Shathavari has many medicinal uses in Ayurvedic and traditional medicine; the dried roots beings used for hormonal issues in women, also for indigestion and ulcers. There are over 300 species of Asparagus plants including the commonly used vegetable, Asparagus.

Shathavari plants are ever-green with thin, shiny leaves, and small white flowers that bloom in July. The plant also produces small fruits that are green initially, then turn red or black when ripe.

These plants are also used in flower decorations because of their beautiful fronds. Due to deforestation and habitat destruction, Shathavari plant is now considered an endangered species in their native growing areas.

But it’s a sturdy, drought-resistant plant that can be grown successfully in home gardens and balconies.

Propagation is from seeds or by dividing the thick hairy roots.

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