Asarum caudatum

western wild ginger

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

This Pacific Northwest native is tops for the garden. Its bold, heart-shaped leaves are fully evergreen and release a spicy, ginger-and-citrus fragrance when crushed. Asarum caudatum grows as an understory plant in our forests, so it is accustomed to dry, shady locations. Be sure to peek beneath the foliage in late winter to see the unusual, triangular, rust-brown flowers. This is one of the few wild gingers that have a fair degree of slug resistance.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: spreading perennial

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 0 ft. 6 in. (0.15 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 1 ft. 9 in. (0.53 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 7 to 9

Flower Color: brown

Sun/Light Exposure: open to deep shade

Water Requirements: occasional watering to drought tolerant when established

Colors & Combos

Great Plant Combinations: Dicentra formosa ‘Bacchanal’, Dryopteris erythrosora, Anenome nemorosa, Polygonatum odoratum var. pluriflorum ‘Variegatum’, Actaea pachypoda

Great Color Contrasts: silver, white

Great Color Partners: green, brown, bronze

Culture Notes
Western wild ginger is an adaptable plant that can be grown in dry or moist locations in open to deep shade. Foliage burns on plants grown in too much sun. Occasional watering during dry periods will keep the foliage looking fresh. Well established plants are completely drought tolerant but may have limp leaves that will perk up with autumn rain. Be patient with newly planted Asarum; as with many perennials, it often takes a year for new plants to settle in and grow nicely.