A mature asparagus bed signals the coming of spring, pushing up delicate new shoots when winter makes its exit for another year. A native perennial to the Mediterranean and cultivated for many centuries, a well planned asparagus bed will deliver tasty delicacies for decades. Rarely considered is the beauty of the mature plants with a lacy fern-like structure which develops after the harvest has ended for the season. While inedible, delicate red berries arrive on the female plants in the fall for a pop of late season color. Unless you can flash freeze asparagus, this is one vegetable to be enjoyed when it is fresh, and then eagerly awaited next season. Nutrients: dietary fiber, vitamins C, K, B6, and A, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron and zinc.