Wild Evergreen Ginger, Little Brown Jug

Hexastylis arifolia

Family: Aristolochiaceae
Genus: Hexastylis (hex-uh-STY-lus) (Info)
Species: arifolia (air-ih-FOH-lee-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Asarum arifolium



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


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)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Partial to Full Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring


Grown for foliage



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic)

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Birmingham, Alabama

Tuskegee, Alabama

Alpharetta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia

Cartersville, Georgia

Cornelia, Georgia

Norcross, Georgia

Royston, Georgia

Suwanee, Georgia

Washington, Illinois

Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Marlborough, Massachusetts

Saint Louis, Missouri

Flat Rock, North Carolina

Kinston, North Carolina

Monroe, North Carolina

Trinity, North Carolina

Rock Hill, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Ooltewah, Tennessee

Viola, Tennessee

Kirkland, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 21, 2015, Ted_B from Birmingham, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

The mottled, angular foliage of this plant makes it a striking understory dweller in moist to dry mesic forests of its native range, and is the most widely distributed of the genus. This plant should not be confused with that most commonly referred to as 'wild ginger' - the deciduous Asarum canadense, or its less common cousin with more rounded mottled leaves, Hexastylis shuttleworthii.

Rhizomes give a distinctly piquant aroma and flavor of safrole (a la Sassafras albidium), and transplant successfully without much trouble. This plant tolerates dry soils, but thrives when adequate moisture is constant. It is an attractive ground cover for any shaded or dapple shaded area. Like all members of Aristolochia, this plant contains the documented nephrotoxin, aristolochic acid.


On May 25, 2004, patp from Summerville, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

Wild Ginger grows in small clumps in deep shade at the back of our property, which is low but not quite swampy. It's not vigorous enough in this area to be used as ground cover but it's lovely nonetheless. Quoting from the book "Gardening with Native Plants of the South" it says, "For some reason, probably summer heat, wild ginger seems to be neither native nor adaptable to Zone 8, which covers most of the Coastal Plain." Guess we're lucky, since we're in Zone 8a, 30 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean and where summer heat is greater than it is nearer the ocean. I've seen it planted in pots that are for sale at the Charleston Aquarium. Wild Ginger remains green year round here and has a pretty mottled appearance. Transplanted clumps grow more vigorously than they do in the wild, pr... read more