FSEEC_150D

Wild Ginger


Scientific Name     

Asarum canadense  L.

Family Name

Aristolochiaceae  (Birthwort family) 

asarum_canadense_habit7

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Asarum_canadense_form_small

habitat

form

Asarum_canadense_flower_small

Asarum_canadense_locules_small

flower

ovary

Characteristics:  

Habitat:  

prefers constantly moist, acidic soils in heavy shade

Plant Height:  

15-30 cm

Flower Color:  

red/brown

Flower:  

incomplete; perfect; apetalous (without petals); 2-3 cm wide; 3 connate sepals; hairy, stamens 12; styles 6; inferior ovary with 6 locules (see cross section); pubescent 

Inflorescence:  

solitary, borne in base of 2 leaves

Fruit:  

many-seeded round capsule

Leaves:  

pair of basal, pubescent, cordate (heart-shaped) to reniform (kidney-shaped) leaves; 8-12 cm wide at anthesis 

Bloom Time:  

April-May

Origins:  

native

Other:  

rhizomes have a ginger-like odor, though not the form of commercial ginger; spreads slowly by rhizomes to form ground cover in shaded areas; rhizomes of the plant were eaten by natives and were believed to have medicinal properties; plant has been studied in cancer research