Ida Lea cultivar of asparagus was developed by Frank
Takatori and Frank Southers at the University of
California at Riverside for fresh market, green
asparagus production in desert climates.
Ida Lea F1 is an all-green variety, producing a
spear that is 10-20% larger than UC 157. One of the
features that sets this variety apart from other
asparagus varieties is its ability to maintain a
tight, well tapered head in the hottest asparagus
production regions in the world. In normal spring
conditions, Ida Lea does not initiate lateral
branches until the spear has maintained a height of
12 inches. This is a highly desirable
characteristic in hot climates.
With Ida Lea F1, the grower produces early spears
that are all-green, with tight, tapering heads. The
lack of purplish coloring in Ida Lea (like UC 157)
helps distinguish it from other asparagus varieties.
Many markets will not accept spears produced with a
purplish tint on the heads.
This variety is tolerant of Rust (Puccinia asparagi)
and highly tolerant of Fusarium (Fusarium oxysporum).
Seed produced by Cutter Asparagus is tested and
found free of Latent Virus 2.
F2 (open pollinated seed) of Ida Lea asparagus is
not true to type, and the resulting plants will
exhibit variability. This results in a lower
quality product as well as a shorter-lived field due
to break down in tolerance to Fusarium.