photo of Asarum canadense

Asarum canadense

Wild Ginger

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Wild ginger is a low-growing woodland plant. A perfect ground cover for your shady yard or garden.

See Details Below


Wild ginger is a low-growing woodland plant. Its deciduous green foliage hides its inconspicuous, yet uniquely-shaped purplish-brown flowers that bloom in April and May. It spreads through underground rhizomes, making it an excellent groundcover in shady areas of your yard, or under the boughs of large trees. Plant Wild Ginger along woodland edges, or in your native plant garden with spring ephemerals such as Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), or Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica). Mulch your plants with leaves in the fall and winter to provide an organically rich substrate and to keep the soil moist. The seeds are dispersed predominantly by ants. Wild ginger is considered “edible” and “medicinal” by many sources, however, further research is reccommended prior to consumption.

Wildlife Value: Wild Ginger is a host plant for the caterpillars of Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly (Battus philenor). 

Plant Details:

Other Common Names: Canadian Wild Ginger

Plant Type: Flower, Perennial, Groundcover

Bloom Times: Late Spring to Early Summer

Bloom Colors: Red

Deer Resistance: Some

Attracts Pollinators and Wildlife: Butterflies

Salt Tolerance: Unknown

Hardiness Zone: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b

Physiographic Region: All Regions in NJ

Soil Characteristics

Soil Type: Loam, Organic

Soil Moisture: Moist, Wet

Soil pH: Neutral, Slightly Alkaline, Alkaline

Light Needs of Plant

Optimal Light: Partial Shade

Light Range: Partial Shade, Shade

Water Needs of Plant

Soil Moisture: Moist, Wet

Drought Tolerance: Low

Size and Growth Rate

Height: .50 - 1 ft

Spread: 1 - 1.50 ft