The Best Asparagus Crowns

Asparagus is one of the earliest spring vegetables. It is truly perennial--you can harvest it up to 20 years after planning. Also, while asparagus is one of the pricier vegetables at the supermarket, it is one of the easiest to raise. The only trick is increasing production and you can do that by planting the right varieties. According to Mother Earth News, all-male varieties are much higher producing and more disease resistant.

Jersey Giant

Jersey Giant produces very large green spears with purplish tips. It is highly resistant to fusarium, crown rot and rust and is highly tolerant of cold temperatures. This is a very high-yielding variety, with up to twice the yield of old-fashioned varieties. It does well in full or partial sun. It's one of the most popular all-round varieties.

Jersey Knight

Jersey Knight produces thick, flavorful, tender spears that are highly resistant to rust and tolerant to fusarium. It is adapted to most climates and produces very large yields of sweet, bright green spears. Tips stay tight throughout the harvest, even in hot weather.

Jersey Supreme

Jersey Supreme produces an abundant crop of slender to medium green spears. It is very rust resistant and it is well adapted to all climate zones. Each crown will produce 10 pounds or more each year once the plants are established. Jersey Supreme also tolerates most soils.

Guelph Millennium

Guelph Millennium was developed by the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. It produces high-quality green spears with outstanding yields throughout the season, unlike most varieties which taper off as the season progresses. By year six, the university measured double the production of other varieties.


Atlas is a heat-tolerant variety that also offers the high production of the the Jersey varieties. The tips stay tight at temperatures higher than 70 degrees, generally quite a bit longer than with other varieties. The deep green spears have very tight heads that stay very green. Atlas is an excellent warmer weather variety for California and the Midwest and gives 25 to 50 percent more yield than traditional male-female varieties.

Purple Passion

Purple Passion has large dark purple spears that turn green when cooked. Its higher sugar content makes it milder, sweeter and more tender than green asparagus; it is said to taste slightly nutty. It was originally found growing in a small village in the southern Alps. Nearly 9 years went into perfecting this all-purple variety. Its spears are larger than usual and they lack the strings common to most asparagus, thus the whole spear can be eaten, avoiding the usual waste. Seed catalogs agree that it is also delicious raw. It requires no different treatment from the traditional green varieties, has superior disease resistance and offers medium-sized yields after the first year.

Keywords: asparagus crowns, asparagus varieties, asparagus types, asparagus plants, asparagus seeds

About this Author

Patricia Bryant Resnick started writing when she was 7. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Sonoma State University in 1975. She began writing professionally in 1996 and has been published in "Rolling Stone," "Georgia Family Magazine" and online. Resnick specializes in food and gardening articles; she is a regular reviewer of tea on the Web.