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Gingers

This group of plants is perfectly at home in a low-maintenance shade garden under deciduous trees.

 

We currently grow: 
Asarum canadense (Canadian Wild Ginger)
Asarum europeaum (European Wild Ginger)
Companions for Gingers
Canadian Wild Ginger

Asarum canadense

 

Also called American wild ginger, Indian ginger or Indian snakeroot

Height         4-8 inches (10-20 cm)

Spread        8-12 inches (20-30 cm) 

Flower         Dark red, at ground level

Hardiness    Zones 3-8

Light           Part shade to full shade

Moisture      Evenly moist soils

Soil             Humus-rich, neutral to acidic

 

This native deciduous woodland plant is commonplace throughout eastern North American forests, often accompanied by trilliums, ferns, bellwort, trout lily, jack-in-the-pulpit and blue cohosh. Pairs of fuzzy heart-shaped leaves, up to 6 inches wide, appear in spring. Fleshy rhizomes creep slowly along the soil surface, dividing into new buds each year. Flowers and fruit inconspicuous. Produced from local Ontario seed.

 

Supports Wildlife

Canadian wild ginger leaves are an alternative food source for the pipevine swallowtail butterfly (Battus philenor) and helps to extend its range north of its main food source, Dutchman's pipe (Aristolochia macrophylla and A. serpentaria) Caterpillars are brown-black with small orange spots in two rows down their back.

 

Recommendations for growing Canadian Ginger

Native woodland soil with lots of well-composted leaf litter is good for ginger. If garden soil is light-textured or gravelly, blend in compost and peat moss for moisture retention. Plant rhizomes near soil surface and do not over-mulch (about 1" composted bark, or use shredded leaves). Serious diseases are seldom encountered, occasionally suffers root rot and leaf spots in wet years. No ongoing maintenance needs required except watering during hot spells.

 

Caution

Contact with roots can cause dermititis in sensitive individuals. Although the plant has a history of ethnobotanical uses, ingestion of any part of the plant is discouraged.

Sold in 4" (10 cm pots) or 1 gallon.

 
 
European Ginger
Asarum europaeum

 

Height         4-6 inches (10-15 cm)

Spread        8-12 inches (20-30 cm) 

Flower         Dark red, at ground level

Hardiness    Zones 4-7

Light           Part shade to full shade

Moisture      Evenly moist soils

Soil             Humus-rich, neutral to acidic

 

The European cousin to our Canadian ginger differs in being fully evergreen, and with a smaller leaf only 3 inches wide. Thick, glossy, kidney-shaped leaves offer great ornamental value along shady paths. Fleshy rhizomes creep slowly along the soil surface, dividing into new buds each year. Flowers and fruit inconspicuous. 

 

Recommendations for growing European Ginger

Native woodland soil with lots of well-composted leaf litter is good for ginger. If garden soil is light-textured or gravelly, blend in compost and peat moss for moisture retention. Plant rhizomes at soil surface and do not overmulch (about 1" composted bark, or use shredded leaves). Serious diseases are seldom encountered, occasionally suffers root rot and leaf spots. No ongoing maintenance needs required  except watering during hot spells. 

Sold in 4" (10 cm pots) only.

Companions for Gingers