Grow Zones: 4,5,6,7,8 (hotter zones require partial shade or indoor potting Other Names: Canadian Wild Ginger, Snakeroot
A. Canadensis is a fast-growing medicinal herbaceous perennial that grows low to the ground and tops out at only 4-8 inches tall. It makes for a great choice as a ground cover and is deer resistant. This plant grows natively in the eastern portion of the US (Georgia, Virginia, etc). The wild ginger plant features heart-shaped leaves growing in pairs and pretty purple-maroon red wildflowers that appear in early springtime. In addition, the roots can be ground to a powder and used in place of standard ginger powder in recipes.
Medicinal Asarum canadense Root Mimics Real Ginger If you know the benefits of regular ginger then they apply to this plant as well...
Traditionally used to support the respiratory system (coughs, phlegm, etc) and to maintain intestinal wellness (stomach, digestion, spasms). Note: The roots are not meant to be eaten in large doses or whole, they are better, powdered, and used as a spice or brewed for teas or alcohol tinctures. Like most medicinal plants, it is edible but best if only used in small amounts.
How to Care for Asarum canadense, Wild Ginger
The plant requires shade as it will burn in full sun. Likewise, pot and plant in a partially or fully shaded area. The plant forms rhizomes at the root and can be torn and spread apart should you desire to divide it and share some with your neighbor. Perform plant divisions in early spring to avoid dormancy. Requires well-draining soil however will grow in clay that drains fine. If grown in good soil, the nutritional requirements for this perennial should be met and no fertilizer is necessary.
Plant in spring for germination next spring. Otherwise, apply warm/moist stratification for 3 months at 75-80 degrees, then cold/moist stratification in the refrigerator for 3 months before sowing. Sow at a 1/8 inch depth. Keep soil moist.