European Wild Ginger

Asarum europaeum

Family: Aristolochiaceae
Genus: Asarum (as-AIR-um) (Info)
Species: europaeum (yoo-ROH-pay-um) (Info)
Synonym:Hexastylis europaea
View this plant in a garden



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


3-6 in. (7-15 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Partial to Full Shade


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall


Grown for foliage





Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)

Cos Cob, Connecticut

Old Lyme, Connecticut

Stamford, Connecticut

Washington, District Of Columbia

Chicago, Illinois

Washington, Illinois

Waterman, Illinois

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana

Macy, Indiana

Louisville, Kentucky

Durham, Maine

Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

Lexington, Massachusetts

Reading, Massachusetts

Swansea, Massachusetts

Royal Oak, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota (3 reports)

Munsonville, New Hampshire

Morristown, New Jersey

Binghamton, New York

Cutchogue, New York

Jefferson, New York

Southold, New York

Mogadore, Ohio

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Westerly, Rhode Island

Richmond, Texas

Lexington, Virginia

Kalama, Washington

Olympia, Washington

Kendall, Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 3, 2007, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I love this plant because of its beautiful round leaves. I bought some last year but it didn't make it. Possibly not enough moisture. I bought some more from a coop and will place in boggy area. This plant is supposed to be hardy to z8b, so I'm pushing the zone envelope just a bit. I'm rating it neutral because it is pricey and fuzzy, for my garden.

If it survives I will be so happy to revise my rating to positive.


On Dec 28, 2006, wiscwoodlander from Kendall, WI (Zone 4a) wrote:

Attractive shiny foliage. Plant is easily divided to produce new plants. Great ground cover for a woodland setting.


On Nov 18, 2006, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

Slow to spread compare to American Wild Ginger, forms a neat clump, Fully Zone 4 hardiness.


On May 7, 2006, TBGDN from (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is an attractive plant for its dark green, heart shaped leaves. It is very decorative and adds interest when planted with other low growing perennials with similar cultural needs. It readily re-seeds itself, making free additional plants for the shade garden. I had grown this for several years 'thinking' it was the Wild Canadian Ginger, partially due to a dubious label which has long been forgotten. Anyway thanks to another DG'er I'm straight now, and no matter, I rate it highly! Seems to thrive on neglect.


On Mar 7, 2005, northgrass from West Chazy, NY (Zone 4b) wrote:

I love the looks of the shiny round leaves of this plant. It is a very desirable ground cover. It spreads nicely but is far from being aggressive. Mine is growing at the base of Polygonatum "Variegatum" (solomon seal) and Dicentra formasa where there is ample moisture. It would also be very nice among ferns.


On Nov 30, 2002, trillium_girl from Penfield, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is one of my favorite groundcovers. It is slow growing. Looks wonderful planted at the base of a multi-trunk tree or shrub. You have to hunt to find the unassuming flower which is about 1/2 inch long and located under the leaves on the ground. Likes shade and moist rich soil. When there is no snow cover the deer will nibble but not destroy it. I grow it in Zone 6 in Western NY. Cornell University has large masses of it growing in their gardens, Cornell Plantations in Ithaca, NY.


On May 2, 2002, Lilith from Durham
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

Both the native (Northern European) Asarabacca and exotic relatives are popular as garden plants for their cyclamen-like foliage. Asarabacca was once used for respiratory ailments and complaints of the liver; it is used no longer because of harmful side-effects. (The plant is poisonous in large doses, the toxin is neutralised by drying.)


On Aug 30, 2001, Sis wrote:

Drought-tolerant once established but best
when moisture is adequate.