Beware: Wild Ginger Territory!

 U.S. Department of Agriculture

 Asarum canadense was first discovered in eastern Canada by Carl Von Linneaus (1707-1778) in the 1700's, which is how its species name originated. Linneaus never actually stepped foot in Canada, but was brought specimens to identify. It can now be found as far south as South Carolina and as west as Oklahoma, as indicated by the distribution map.

To learn more about the life of Carl Von Linneaus visit


This species prospers in the natural woodlands under the shade of a deciduous canopy, such as maple, basswood, and oak. It can also be found growing in valley Courtesy of Doug Sherman, Lady Bird Johson Wildflower centers, the base of bluffs, and ravines. All of these environments allow for the perfect growing conditions for Asarum canadense because of the vast amount of shade and very rich, moist soil. The soil is usually organic with a pH level of 5.0-7.5.  You may even find this wild ginger growing in the shade of your own home!  If you live in an area that is home to Asarum canadense, go on a search and see if you can find it growing in its natural habitat. Be sure to keep your eyes open, because it grows very low to the ground.  Some other organisms you may come across on your journey that live in the same habitat are:

Interested in growing this plant in your own backyard? If you answered yes then I have great news for you: Asarum canadense is easy to grow and can be used as a great groundcover. It is an excellent plant for indoor or courttyard gardens and requires little maintenence because it is drought resistant. To find out more information and gardeners' comments visit Dave's Garden.

 Courtesy of Mrs. W.D. Bransfore, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center


Now that you know where Canadian wild ginger lives, find out about its adaptations that make it successful.