asparagus, n. [L., fr. Gr. 'aspa`ragos, 'asfa`ragos; cf. sparga^n to swell with sap or juice, and Zend prong, sprout, Pers. asparag, Lith. spurgas sprout, Skr. sphurj to swell. Perh. the Greek borrowed from the Persian. Cf. Sparrowgrass.].
A genus of perennial plants belonging to the natural order Liliaceæ, and having erect much branched stems, and very slender branchlets which are sometimes mistaken for leaves. Asparagus racemosus is a shrubby climbing plant with fragrant flowers. Specifically: The Asparagus officinalis, a species cultivated in gardens. [1913 Webster]
The young and tender shoots of Asparagus officinalis, which form a valuable and well-known article of food. [1913 Webster]
" This word was formerly pronounced sparrowgrass; but this pronunciation is now confined exclusively to uneducated people."
Asparagus beetle(Zoöl.), a small beetle (Crioceris asparagi) injurious to asparagus.