Wild Ginger: Habitat, Distribution, and Conservation Efforts

Wild Ginger: Habitat, Distribution, and Conservation Efforts

Wild ginger, also known as Asarum canadense, is a spring flower from the Birthwort family. It is native to the southeastern United States and southeastern Canada. This plant is called Sturgeon Potato, Snakeroot, Namepin, Indian Ginger, Heartleaf, Coltsfoot, Colic Root, Cat's Foot, Canada Ginger, Wild Ginger, Canada Wild Ginger, Canadian Wild Ginger, and Asarabacca.

Plant Description

This low-growing woodland flower grows about 30 to 45 cm wide and 15 to 30 cm tall. It is commonly found in wet places, the understory of conifer forests, redwood forests, and pine woods. It proliferates in full or part shade, wet or medium wet, and well-drained soil. Wild Ginger has a spicy ginger aroma and creamy white rhizomes. Many people use this plant for culinary purposes.


Each wild ginger plant has a pair of 6-inch basal leaves. The leaves are kidney to heart-shaped and have rounded or pointed tips. The leaves have a deep cleft at the base. Soft hairs cover the underside of the leaves. The leaves have white stalks, which are covered with soft hairs. The leaf's size doubles when they mature compared to when they first bloom.


The wild ginger flower is often covered by its leaves. The flowers are often purple-brown, red, or dark colors on a short stem. The flower is about two inches long. The inner side of the tube has a creamy white color, while the outer is covered with long white hairs.


A six-celled seed casing follows fertilized wild ginger flowers. The casing comprises several dark-brown and three-sided seeds. Wild ginger seeds required sixty to ninety days and cold-moist storage to germinate.

Wild Ginger Varieties

  • Asarum caudatum
  • Canadian wild ginger
  • Chinese wild ginger
  • European wild ginger
  • Wild Ginger

Health Benefits

  • Reduces anxiety and stress
  • Reduces cholesterol level
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Pain reliever
  • Bodywarmer