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.
Great photos and great appropraite cultivar names that really match the flowers!
Thank you for sharing.
Is there a cladogram that shows the relationship between these various asarums? And any asarums in other parts of asia (korea, vietnam, etc?).
Sure…Kelly’s work from 1997 was quite good. https://bsapubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.2307/2446475
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
The ginger used to make tea is usually Zingiber officinale, a tropical plant that is not one we grow or one that is related to the asarum we discussed in the blog. These are generally only available harvested in the grocery store. Our friends at Logees Nursery in Connecticut, ship mail order and carry tropicals like Zingiber officinale.