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Asarum caudatum

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About Wild Ginger (Asarum caudatum) Asarum caudatum (British Columbia wild ginger, Western wild ginger, or long-tailed wild ginger) is native to rich moist forests of western North America from British Columbia to California and as far east as western Montana. Within California it is found primarily along the coast from Santa Cruz County northward. In spring, it develops distinct hirsute (hairy) cup-shaped, brown-purple to green-yellow flowers which terminate in three long gracefully curved lobes, often concealed by leaves. The long rhizomes give rise to persistent reniform (kidney/heart shaped) leaves. Leaves are found in colonies or clusters as the rhizome spreads. The leaves emit a ginger aroma when rubbed.

In the garden this plant must have regular water and virtually no direct sun.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
1 ft (0.3 m)


Fragrant - Pleasant


Flower Color
Brown, Purple, Yellow

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Moist places

Full Shade, Part Shade

Elevation ?
-36' - 5858'

Annual Precip. ?
22.8" - 156.0"

Summer Precip. ?
0.27" - 5.94"

Coldest Month ?
37.2° F - 50.4° F

Hottest Month ?
55.3° F - 72.8° F

Humidity ?
0.01 vpd - 21.72 vpd

Soil Description
Woodland soil with high organic content

Soil PH
4.0 - 8.0


Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 10° F

Sunset Zones ?
1, 2, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7*, 14, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24*

Companion Plants
Use as understory to large trees such as Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), Yellow Pine (Pinus ponderosa) and many other trees of northern California. Mix with other shade-loving forest plants such as native ferns, Meadow Rue (Thalictrum fendleri), and Elkclover (Aralia californica)

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Moderate - High
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
2x/month, 3x/month
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Deep Organic

Common uses
Groundcovers, Deer Resistant

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
British Columbia Wildginger

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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