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Wild Ginger - Asarum canadensis

Wild Ginger - Asarum canadensis

Asarum canadensis, also known as Wild Ginger or Namepin / Namepiniig (sturgeon tuber/s in Ojibwemowin), is a perennial woodland wildflower native to Michigan, including central and western UP.

Not true ginger, but the the rhizomes have a ginger-like fragrance and flavor.

Plant reaches 1 foot tall and flowers from May to June with a purple blossom which sits low on the ground to aid in pollination by beetles or ants. Later, the seeds are dispersed by ants. The flowers are showy and interesting, but hidden beneath the leaves. This plant is grown for its textured foliage and use as a native shade ground cover.

It prefers partial to full shade, well-drained moist to medium-dry soil and will grow in loam or sand, though the preference is for richer woodland loam. Tolerant of rocky, acidic soil and drought tolerant when established. Spreads slowly by rhizome. In southern Michigan, this plant serves as the host for the pipevine swallowtail butterfly. Information on its role as a host plant in the UP is sparse.

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