Don't "Leaf" Me Starving!

 Courtesy of Ohio's Governor's Residence and Heritage GardenAsarum canadense is an autotroph which means it creates its own food supply through photosynthesis. Water, minerals from the soil, and carbon dioxide from the air are the only nutrients that are needed for Canadian wild ginger, as well as most other plants. Light is also very important because it is used to synthesize organic substances.

Every green part of a plant contains chloroplasts, which are the site of photosynthesis, however the leaves are the main location for photosynthesis to take place. The leaves of Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons Canadian wild ginger need to be large because the plant grows low to the ground and is usually in shade. The large leaves try to capture as much sunlight as possible in order to photosynthesize. The first stage of photosynthesis consists of the conversion of solar energy to chemical energy. This stage is often known as the "light reaction." The solar energy plus water produces oxygen and creates ATP, which is used in the Calvin Cycle. The Calvin Cycle, the second stage of photosynthesis, produces sugar. This stage is often know as the "dark reaction." Carbon dioxide is incorporated with already present organic molecules to begin the process.

 Sally and Andy Wasowski, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center

Each leaf contains microscopic pores, called stomata, that carbon dioxide enters through and oxygen exits. The leaves are obviously very important in photosynthesis, but the roots play a big role as well. Water is absorbed by the roots and then transported to the leaves via veins. The veins are also used to transport sugar from the leaves to the roots. To learn more about photosynthesis and the structures involved visit the Online Biology Book.

Some other interesting plants that undergo photosynthesis are sunflowers, English ivy, and coffee.

Now that you know how Asarum canadense interacts with the environment, learn how it interacts with other species.