Asarum splendens

splendid wild ginger

Outstanding Qualities

Splendid wild ginger is aptly named, for it is indeed splendid. Emerging in spring, its leaves are large, lustrous dark green overlaid with silver patterns. Turn the leaf over and it is a deep purple beneath. Curious dark chocolate-brown and purple cup-shaped flowers appear in late winter.

Colors & Combos

Great Plant Combinations: Athyrium niponicum var. pictum, Hosta ‘Halcyon’, Enkianthus perulatus, Ilex crenata ‘Mariesii’, Trillium ovatum

Great Color Contrasts: white, blue

Great Color Partners: silver, green, brown

Culture Notes

This Chinese wild ginger prefers open to deep shade. It is tolerant of a variety of soil conditions, preferring rich well-drained locations but tolerating sand and clay. For best growth provide regular watering during dry weather. The leaves can be cut back in late January to reveal the strange flowers near the crown of the plant. The new growth is susceptible to slug damage; use slug control until the foliage matures in early summer.

© Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Quick Facts

Plant Type: perennial

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 0 ft. 9 in. (0.23 m.)

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

Hardiness: USDA Zones 7 to 9

Flower Color: brown, purple

Sun/Light Exposure: open to deep shade

Water Requirements: regular watering