Asparagus, from the Greek language meaning “sprout” or “shoot,” is a perennial flowering plant that is native to the eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor areas. The ancient Greeks loved wild asparagus, but it was the Romans who first cultivated it nearly 2,500 years ago! In the 16th century, asparagus gained popularity in France and England. From there the early colonists brought it to America. Its young shoots are used as a spring vegetable.