Do You Remember Ginger?

There are lots of different gingers to keep straight, starting with a memorable one that was a part of the band of misfits stranded on Gilligan’s Island. Horticulturally speaking, however, ginger refers both to a group of plants in the Zingiberaceae and Aristolochiaceae (birthwort) families. Hardy members of the Zingiber family are plants who mostly flower in the heat of summer, while the wild gingers (asarum) of the birthwort family tend to be mostly winter/spring flowering.

So, while it’s late winter/early spring, let’s focus of the woodland perennial genus asarum, of which we currently grow 86 of the known 177 asarum species/subspecies. In late winter/early spring, we like to remove any of the winter damaged evergreen leaves, which makes the floral show so much more visible. Few people take time to bend down and observe their amazing flowers, so below are some of floral photos we took this spring. View our full photo gallery here.

Asarum arifolium flowers
Asarum arifolium (Native: SE US)
Asarum caudatum flowers
Asarum caudatum (Native: NW US)
Asarum asaroides 'Jade Turtle'  flowers
Asarum asaroides ‘Jade Turtle’ (Native: Japan)
Asarum asperum 'Fault Line' flowers
Asarum asperum ‘Fault Line’ (Native: Japan)
Asarum campaniflorum flowers
Asarum campaniflorum (Native: China)
Asarum caudigerum flowers ( wild ginger )
Asarum caudigerum (Native: China)
Asarum hirsutisepalum flowers ( wild ginger )
Asarum hirsutisepalum (Native: Japan)
Asarum ichangense 'Huddled Masses' flowers
Asarum ichangense ‘Huddled Masses’ (Native: China)
Asarum magnificum 'Bullseye' flowers
Asarum magnificum ‘Bullseye’ (Native: China)
Asarum nobilissimum 'Crown Royal' flowers
Asarum nobilissimum ‘Crown Royal’ (Native: China)
Asarum nobilissimum 'King Kong' flowers
Asarum nobilissimum ‘King Kong’ (Native: China)
Asarum porphyronotum 'Irish Spring' flowers
Asarum porphyronotum ‘Irish Spring’ (Native: China)
Asarum senkakuinsulare flowers
Asarum senkakuinsulare (Native: Japan)
Asarum speciosum 'Bloodshot Eyes' flowers
Asarum speciosum ‘Bloodshot Eyes’ (Native: SE US)
Close up of Asarum splendens flowers
Asarum splendens (Native: China)

5 thoughts on “Do You Remember Ginger?

  1. Is there a cladogram that shows the relationship between these various asarums? And any asarums in other parts of asia (korea, vietnam, etc?).

  2. Do you ship plants locally, I’m near Angier. And if so, I’d like to buy 2 ginger plants.

    I know nothing about ginger except it makes good tea and it’s good in stir fries. So some type good for cooking. And is it ok to plant now? No direct sun in my yard, lots of partial shade and full shade.

    Sorry, I’m quite old and too scared to leave my house due to the virus. Cathy

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