Asarum (Wild Ginger)

ASARUM (Wild Ginger) Aristolochiaceae A. species

HABITAT: Native to North America, Europe, China, Japan. Zone 4-10.

USES: Ground covers, shade, edging.

HABIT: Perennial evergreen 6-10" high plant with shiny, heart shaped 2-6" leaves often tinged with bronze which form a thick carpet. Foliage smells of ginger when bruised. Late spring plants bear small, cuplike brownish or reddish-purple flowers with "tails". Flowers are usually hidden by foliage. Moderate growth. Spreading by underground stems which send up shoots.

SEED GERMINATION AND CULTURE: Set out in partial to deep shade and a moist highly organic and slightly acid (pH 5.5-6.5) soil with good drainage and ample humus (compost, leaf mold, peat moss) added. Set out in spring 12" apart.

SPECIES: A. canadense (Canada Wild Ginger) 4-6". Zones 2-3. Creeping root stalks. Two heart-shaped leaves 6" wide. Brown flowers April-May. Deciduous. Canada, S. Carolina to Kansas.
A. caudatum (British Columbia Wild Ginger) 7". Zone 4. 2-6" leaves. Evergreen. Brownish flowers. British Columbia-California.
A. europaeum (European Wild Ginger) 5". Zone 4. Glossy, evergreen 2-3" leaves on 8" stems. Greenish purple or brown 1/2" flowers. Europe.
A. virginian (Virginia Wild Ginger) 7". Zone 5. Evergreen, Virginia-N. Carolina. Grows in dry woods. March-May.

INSECTS: Not generally a problem.

DISEASES: Not generally a problem.

PROPAGATION: Division (autumn or spring), root sections.