Genetically, asparagus is a member of the lily family. The varieties that are grown today are desended from wild forms commonly found in sandy places in Europe, Africa and Asia. The part that we eat is the immature “spear” or sprout of the plant. Asparagus was widely cultivated among the early Greek and Roman civilizations, and was grown in much the same way as today. There are many ways to use asparagus, from soups to sidedishes.