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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Asarum caudatum Lindl.
British Columbia wild ginger, Long-tail wild ginger
Synonym(s): Asarum caudatum var. caudatum
USDA Symbol: ASCA2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
This mat-forming groundcover grows less than 1 ft. tall but up to 3 ft. wide. The main stem creeps along the ground with two leaves growing from each stem node. The large, heart-shaped, dark-green, persistent leaves hide the unusual, fuzzy, reddish-brown to greenish-yellow flowers borne from lower leaf axils. The bizarre brown-purplish to yellowish or greenish flower is hidden by heart-shaped leaves growing in pairs from trailing, rooting stems that form dense patches.
There are 2 other western species: Hartweg’s Wild Ginger (A. hartwegii), found in southern Oregon, northern California, and southward along the Sierra Nevada, usually has mottled leaves, and appendages on anthers longer than the pollen sacs; and Lemmon’s Wild Ginger (A. lemmonii), from the Sierra Nevada, with calyx lobes 1/2 (1.3 cm) long or less.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Root Type: Tap Leaf Retention: Evergreen Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf Shape: Cordate
, Reniform Leaf Venation: Palmate Leaf Pubescence: Glabrous Leaf Margin: Entire Breeding System:
Flowers Bisexual Size Notes:
Height 7-10 inches, spreading widely. Leaf:
Dark green Flower:
Flowera 1-2 1/2 inches long. Sepals
white inside with single median stripe.
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow , Green , Purple , Brown
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug
Bloom Notes: Flowers long lasting, hidden by leaves.
, WA Canada: BC Native Distribution: CA
Coast Ranges from Santa Cruz Mts., n. to B.C. & n.w. MT Native Habitat:
Deep, redwood or yellow pine forests below 5000 ft.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist, rich soil.
Conditions Comments: Wild ginger provides an extensive ground cover for large areas. It can be too rampant for smaller sites.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Makes an effective groundcover for shaded areas.
Use Food: The aromatic stems and roots were used by early settlers as a substitute for the tropical ginger.
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes
Clump Division , Seeds Description:
Propagates easily from rhizome
divisions or seed. Commercially Avail:
National Wetland Indicator Status
|Status:|| FAC || FACU |
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
- Santa Barbara, CANative Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Record Last Modified: 2009-11-23
Research By: TWC Staff