Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Wild Ginger, Long Tailed Wild Ginger
Asarum caudatum

Family: Aristolochiaceae
Genus: Asarum (as-AIR-um) (Info)
Species: caudatum (kaw-DAH-tum) (Info)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

13 members have or want this plant for trade.


under 6 in. (15 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

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)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Partial to Full Shade


Bloom Color:
Maroon (Purple-Brown)

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

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:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 8 photos.
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5 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive lehua_mc On May 7, 2011, lehua_mc from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

I've tucked a few of these small starters under a shore pine where grass seldom creeps, weeds sometimes do, and despite the shade, is an area visible to a passerby. This past winter (their first) they were not evergreen, loosing their leaves and leaving small mounds of their stems. Advanced billing say they will take as much acidic shade as you can give them, lets see if it holds!

Positive karenkr On Oct 11, 2009, karenkr from Quaker Hill, CT wrote:

Positive because this was a 'no sweat' drop-in to my garden in Quaker Hill, CT. I just noticed it under a pear tree. Healthy, lovely, green. I have to move it (just a bit) due to building. Thanks for helping me identify it.

Positive john55121 On May 29, 2008, john55121 from Saint Paul, MN wrote:

I have candied the rhyzome and some people like it and some not. It does taste like candied ginger with pine mixed in.
It makes a wonderful dense groundcover even in areas that dry out. Weeds don't bother it. It spreads about 6 inches a year. Very attractive groundcover.

Neutral ravntorthe On Nov 26, 2005, ravntorthe from Elkins, WV wrote:

In West Virginia, you can find this plant growing in the wild in small valleys with a streambed that stays damp but doesn't have a lot of water running through. I didn't know they were considered evergreens since I've only seen them out in the woods while collecting ramps (wild leeks) and at my home, under some trees where I've planted them and never in the fall or winter. It does make an interesting addition to a stylized "forest area" at your home and the blooms are very different.

They seem to be in bloom during the height of ramp and trillium season.

Positive melody On Feb 12, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Dense patches of trailing, rooting stems hide the peculiar brown-purplish to yellowish single flower.

While not closely related to tropical ginger, the aromatic stems and roots were used by early settlers as a substitute.

Positive DaveH On May 13, 2004, DaveH from San Francisco, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Wild ginger (asarum caudatum) makes a great, low-maintenance, dense groundcover in woodland settings with shade to part shade and ample moisture. Its glossy evergreen leaves are handsome year round, although it is somewhat attractive to slugs. It has interesting, although inconspicuous, flowers which grow in spring under the leaves and along the ground. They are a deep reddish-brown and are pollinated by beetles.


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

Berkeley, California
Calistoga, California
Crescent City, California
San Diego, California
San Francisco, California
Santa Rosa, California
Quaker Hill, Connecticut
Opelousas, Louisiana
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Charlotte, North Carolina
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Findlay, Ohio
Grants Pass, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Tenmile, Oregon
Tillamook, Oregon
Bremerton, Washington
Elkins, West Virginia
Madison, Wisconsin

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