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Asarum

Asarum (Wild Ginger Plant)

Plants in the genus asarum are small but exquisite, deer-resistant woodland perennials that thrive in moist but well-drained conditions with light shade. Most asarum species are evergreen.


More Information About Asarum

Plants in the genus asarum (sometimes mistakenly called hexastylis) are small but exquisite, deer-resistant woodland perennials that thrive in moist but well-drained conditions with light shade. Most asarum species are evergreen although some, such as Asarum canadense, lose their foliage in the winter.

We have estimated the hardiness of our asarum offerings based on past performance, although gardeners in areas with consistent winter snow cover have been known to eke out a few extra hardiness zones. Wild ginger plants are prized for their spectacular cyclamen-like foliage, unusual flowers, and in some species, a wonderful gingery fragrance (when crushed). Because of their rarity and slow growth rate, expect 2-3 years for the wild ginger plant to establish and form a spectacular clump.

While asarum plants are usually grown for their heart-shaped foliage, they also offer a delightful treat to those gardeners who are willing to get down on their hands and knees and poke around under the leaves...flowers! Asarum produce fascinating, 3-lobed, flowers in shades of brown, purple, black, yellow and white. In a few species (Asarum asaroides, Asarum maximum, Asarum splendens) the flowers are fairly large relative to the plant and are a real treat to see. Try pairing your wild ginger plant with other low growing woodland plants like Sanguinaria, Achimenes, Syneilesis and Rohdea. Asarum also looks great in containers. When you are ready to buy wild ginger plants for your garden, check out our list of asarum for sale. It is worth noting that a few Asarum species are North Carolina native plants.

Asarum is called a wild ginger because its roots smell gingery...but do not eat it! It is carcinogenic! If you want an edible ginger plant, stick with Hedychium, Zingiber and Curcuma.

Check out our many blog posts about Asarum.