You think you know asparagus, that harbinger of spring? Here are some factoids you may find surprising about the spring vegetable.

--Asparagus is a member of the lily family, along with onions and garlic.

--Asparagus can grow up to 10 inches in a 24-hour period.

--Asparagus historically was heralded as an aphrodisiac.

--Recent research suggests eating asparagus can help ease hangovers and protect liver cells against alcohol's toxins: It boosts levels of key enzymes that break down the alcohol.

--About 40 percent of people experience strong-smelling urine after eating asparagus, a sulfurlike odor that results from the digestion of certain amino acids. Some people are genetically unable to smell the odiferous urine.

--White asparagus comes from the same plant as green asparagus, but it is grown underground to block sunlight and prevent photosynthesis.