Canadian wild ginger, Wild ginger
Aristolochiaceae (Birthwort Family)
This low, colony-forming perennial
grows only 4-8 in. high. Each plant bears a pair of large, velvety, heart-shaped leaves. Growing at ground level in the crotch between 2 leafstalks is a single darkish red-brown to green-brown flower. The solitary flower
is at ground level, hidden below the leaves. A similar plant with greenish-purple flowers, Hexastylis arifolia
, has more triangular, evergreen
The fleshy rootstock, which has a strong, gingery flavor, can create a crowded network on the woodland floor, resulting in a dense ground cover of Wild ginger.
Image Gallery: 21 photo(s) available
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Green , Purple , Brown
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun
, DC Canada: MB
, QC Native Distribution:
Que. & N.B. to Ont. & MN,
s. to FL
& LA. Eastern North America, Zones 3 to 7 Native Habitat:
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8) , Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Soil Description: Moist, rich soils. pH of 6 to 7 best.
Conditions Comments: Doesnt grow in the high summer heat of Zone 8.
Good, low groundcover for Eastern woodlands and shaded landscapes. Use Food:
The root of this spring flower
has a strong ginger-like odor and, when cooked with sugar, can be used as a substitute for ginger. (Niering) Warning:
Touching this plant can cause skin irritation in some people. Interesting Foliage:
Butterflies Larval Host:
Pipeline swallowtail butterfly.