Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: European Wild Ginger
Asarum europaeum

Family: Aristolochiaceae
Genus: Asarum (as-AIR-um) (Info)
Species: europaeum (yoo-ROH-pay-um) (Info)

Synonym:Hexastylis europaea

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

22 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


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:
Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

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

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There are a total of 17 photos.
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5 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral vossner 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.

Positive wiscwoodlander 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.

Positive Malus2006 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.

Positive TBGDN 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.

Positive northgrass 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.

Positive trillium_girl 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.

Neutral Lilith 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.)

Neutral Sis On Aug 30, 2001, Sis wrote:

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


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

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