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