Plant types and subtypes: Perennials, Ground Covers
Light Requirements: part-shade, shade
Water Use: medium
Soil Moisture: moist
Soil Description: acid, neutral, rich, average
Bloom Time: April, May, June
Bloom Color: purple, brown
Leaf Color: green
Hardiness Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Additional Tags: deer resistant, fragrant root, naturalizing, shade garden plant, woodland plant
Pricing & Availability
Asarum canadenseAlso known as:
Canadian wild ginger,
Asarum acuminatum, Asarum reflexum, Asarum rubrocinctum
Asarum canadense is a deciduous, mat-forming plant. It has strongly veined, heart-shaped, slightly velvety basal leaves up to 6" wide. The cup-shaped, purplish-brown flowers are attractive but appear close to the ground and are often hidden under the leaves.
Canadian wild ginger is an excellent shade ground cover. It is easy to grow in any moist, well-drained soil where it will quickly spread by means of rhizomatous roots. It produces mats that are dense enough to create a very effective weed barrier. The round leaves provide a beautiful background and contrast for native ferns (such as maidenhair, interrupted, cinnamon, and Christmas ferns), and taller-growing, shade loving wildflowers (such as false goat's beard, white wood aster, false Solomon's seal, smooth Solomon's seal, Indian pink, twistedstalk, etc). It breaks dormancy later than, and will not interfere with, many spring ephemerals such as ramps, troutlilies, and bloodroot. Care should be taken in the southernmost part of its range that the plant not dry out or burn in the summer heat. Bloom times are from April to June. Zones 3-8
Best propagated by root division in spring or fall. Slow to propagate from seed.
The roots are fragrant with an aroma reminiscent of ginger, hence its common name. It was actually used as a ginger substitute by early Americans and was thought to have medicinal values. The plant may cause minor skin irritations in some people.
Native Range & Classification
Recorded County Distribution: USDA data
AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV
USDA Endangered Status:
- Threatened: ME
|Species||Asarum canadense||Canadian wild ginger|