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Wild Ginger
Asarum canadense
Uses: Medicinal/Poisonous! Duration: Perennial (hardy in zones 3-8)
When to Sow: Late Summer/Early Fall Ease of Germination: Difficult/Special Treatment Required
(Indian ginger) Woodland plant with aromatic roots like true ginger. Its low height and attractive leaves make it a good groundcover or edging plant for the shade garden. In spring the heart-shaped leaves pop up like a crowd of umbrellas over the small, maroon-coloured flowers borne at the base of the plant. An antibiotic herb with bitter qualities, it was an important Amerindian remedy for indigestion, coughs, colds, fever, sore throat, flatulence and nervous conditions. Leaves smell strongly of ginger, and European settlers used it as a substitute for tropical ginger when they first arrived in North America. The plant prefers a well-drained location with rich, moist soil and shade similar to the woodlands where it occurs naturally. It spreads quickly and will grow even under dense shade. Deer and other animals leave it alone. Rhizomes are best harvested in the fall; and to keep plants coming back year after year, leave some roots behind when digging.
CAUTION: Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have warned that plants containing aristolochic acids should not be ingested. The focus of these warnings has been on certain Chinese medicinal plants that contain high amounts of these compounds. Some studies suggest that the North American wild ginger sometimes has these compounds also but at much lower levels. Its long traditional use suggests that this herb is probably safe, but caution is warranted until more is known about its safety.

P2862-300 Plants Apr-June Shipment $6.75/ea, $16.20/3 plants, $52.80/12 plants
Currency: United States Dollar

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