Asparagus Season: Why the White Asparagus is White and the Green Asparagus is Green?

Did you ever wonder why white asparagus is white, or looks really pale from his friend green asparagus? I will then try to provide you with simple answer in here, however, let me start with the green asparagus.

Green asparagus, as any other green plant contains substance called chlorophyll. The pigment in the chlorophyll absorbs all other colors in spectrum and reflects the green light. Whenever the light is reflected, the human eye can see it. Same as for the red apple, or the orange carrot, the red and the orange colors are reflected and transmitted to our eyes.
A side note, a pigment is something that absorbs the certain colors in the light spectrum. Whatever is not absorbed is then reflected into our eyes.

So what happened to the poor white pale asparagus? Nothing really, it is grown in the dark and deprived from the sunlight. The blockage from the sunlight makes the asparagus white. No light to absorb or reflect. The process used to make the white asparagus is called process of etiolation, meaning that the plant is grown in partial light or completely without the light.


  1. This is too funny. I have gardened and eaten vegetables all my life and just this past week I asked about a sign on some asparagus at a local store. The clerk in the produce section could not answer my question, but this post does. The sign said "Green Asparagus - 1.99 lb". I asked "Green? What other kind is there?" Now I know!

  2. Hey Will I didn't know about the white asparagus until I travelled to Germany during the asparagus season. I forgot to mention, but there is also purple asparagus, but I think this one is its true color, not like the white asparagus. Thanks for reading my post. Appreciated. Anna :)


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