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Wild Ginger Asarum canadense

Phonetic Spelling
ah-SAIR-um ka-na-DEN-see
Description

Canadian wild ginger is a native form of ornamental ginger in the Aristolochiaceae family that spans Canada into the United States.

It has poor drought tolerance which requires high organic matter soil that maintains constant moisture.   This plant prefers light to deep shade and it is often found on rocky acidic soils. It does tolerate drought once established.  It spreads slowly by and can be propagated through its fragrant underground rhizomes or through seeds. The tiny brown purple flowers are hidden under the leaves and not of ornamental value but they do attract pollinators with their sweet fragrance.  They are also capable of self-pollinating.

The handsome foliage and high shade tolerance making it a great choice for a woodland, shade, or rain garden. Plant it as an edging or border plant and will easily naturalize as a deciduous groundcover in your garden.  This plant tolerates deer browsing, wet soils, heavy shade, and erosion.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Slugs and snails can be occasional pests.

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Shaded Slope Border Garden- Pathway
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#rain garden#interesting flowers#shade garden#low maintenance#interesting leaves#erosion control#deer resistant#native garden#heart-shaped#fragrant roots#naturalizes#border planting#wildflower garden#larval host plant#food source summer#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#coastal UPL#wet soils tolerant#FACU Piedmont Mountains#audubon#erosion tolerant#heavy shade tolerant#woodland garden#pipevine swallowtail butterfly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#rain garden#interesting flowers#shade garden#low maintenance#interesting leaves#erosion control#deer resistant#native garden#heart-shaped#fragrant roots#naturalizes#border planting#wildflower garden#larval host plant#food source summer#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#coastal UPL#wet soils tolerant#FACU Piedmont Mountains#audubon#erosion tolerant#heavy shade tolerant#woodland garden#pipevine swallowtail butterfly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Asarum
    Species:
    canadense
    Family:
    Aristolochiaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Root has a ginger-like scent, and early Americans used it as a ginger substitute but it is not widely used today.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North America
    Distribution:
    Manitoba Canada to North Carolina
    Wildlife Value:
    Larval host plant for pipevine swallowtail butterfly (Battus philenor). Flies and beetles are pollinators.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Deer,erosion, wet soil, and heavy shade.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 4 in. - 0 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Native Plant
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Horizontal
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Description:
    Displays from May to June
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Solitary
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Tubular
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Solitary, bell-shaped flower, often hidden among the fallen leaves; three spreading or recurved, pointed, brownish-purple lobes, flowers in mid-spring April-May.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Velvety
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Pair of heart-shaped, basal leathery, dull gray-green, very veined leaves; 3- to 6-in. long; covered with fine hairs
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Small Space
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Erosion
    Heavy Shade
    Wet Soil