Heartleaf Ginger,  Hexastylis arifolium (aka Asarum)

Native to the southeastern US, Heart-leaf Ginger is an evergreen perennial in the Aristolochiaceae family that can be found growing in woodland settings.  In your garden, plant along a shady edge.   Dappled shade is an ideal setting for this plant, it does not do well in deep shade. When conditions are right, it will self-sow.  It prefers moist conditions.  

One of its common names is Little brown jug for the fleshy, jug-shaped flowers that are pollinated by ants. 

The foliage is evergreen and may take on a purple hue when exposed to cold weather.  Both the coloring and shape of the leaves can vary greatly.  

Its roots have a strong, aromatic aroma, similar to a mild pepper and ginger mix.  Heart-leaf ginger is clump-forming. Its jug-shaped flowers are hidden under the speckled leaves.

Plants are propagated on site and not taken from wild areas. 

Photos by K. Mulcahy

Sources:https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants,  https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=caam2, other authoritative resources and personal experience.