Hansen's Northwest Native Plant Database

Asarum caudatum (Wild Ginger, British Columbia Wild Ginger, Western Wild Ginger, Long-Tailed Wild Ginger)
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants


 Tracheobionta – Vascular plants


 Spermatophyta – Seed plants


 Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants


 Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons






 Aristolochiaceae – Birthwort family


 Asarum L. – wildginger


 Asarum caudatum Lindl. – British Columbia wildginger

Wild Ginger (Asarum caudatum) is one of the finest  ground cover plants for shady, moist areas, just the conditions found beneath evergreen trees and shrubs!

These beautifully shaped leaves have a pleasing texture and sweet ginger fragrance. The bloom looks exotic, purple or brown, the three petals are long and wispy and usually appears below the leaves.

Wild Ginger will spread by underground rhizomes and will root wherever the stems are in contact with the ground. Plant at least a few inches apart and you will have a solid cover in a few seasons.

Asarum caudatum was once used fresh or dried by First Nations in cooking and as tea but in recent years the Federal Food and Drug Administration advises discontinuing this use based on quantitative analysis of the plant.

The FDA website declared this plant unsafe for internal use. Enjoy the fragrance but we do not recommend using this plant for internal consumption in any way. See http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cms_ia/importalert_141.html

See Washington State's Department of Transportation website for more information about this issue: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/environment/culres/ethbot/a-c/Asarum.htm

Found along the Pacific coast, east into Montana (USDA 8-10), Wild Ginger needs shade and moisture.


Photo, left, credit:  Stickpen; Photos, center and right, credit: Josh Jackson


Photos, above, credit:  Walter Siegmund

Wild Ginger with Fringecup (Tellima grandiflora). The serrated Fringecup leaves have a rougher texture and are lovely with the  heart-shaped ginger leaves.

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