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Asarum canadense

Canadian wild ginger add to wishlist

Plant types and subtypes: SALE, Perennials, Ground Covers

Light Requirements: part-shade, shade

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: moist

Soil Description: acid, neutral, rich, average

Height: 6"-12"

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

Asarum canadense (Canadian wild ginger)
  • Asarum canadense (Canadian wild ginger)
  • Asarum canadense (Canadian wild ginger)
  • Asarum canadense (Canadian wild ginger)
  • Foliage of Asarum canadense (Canadian wild ginger)

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Description

Asarum canadense

Also known as:

Canadian wild ginger

,

wild ginger

,

wildginger

Scientific Synonyms:

Asarum acuminatum, Asarum reflexum, Asarum rubrocinctum

Description

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.

Cultivation

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

Propagation

Best propagated by root division in spring or fall. Slow to propagate from seed.

Additional Notes

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

Native Range:
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

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Magnoliidae
Order Aristolochiales
Family Aristolochiaceae Birthwort family
Genus Asarum wildginger
Species Asarum canadense Canadian wild ginger