Asarum europaeum

Full Shade
Light/Partial Shade
Soil Type:
Most Types

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See full plant description below.

Plant Details

Excellent for dry, shady areas where other plants struggle. Kidney-shaped, glossy green leaves on creeping surface shoots. Spreads slowly to form evergreen glossy green mats.

A robust and reliable groundcovering plant, very useful for shady areas, which once established will remain evergreen throughout the year. 

Commonly known as wild ginger, it has sweetly sweetly pungent roots and has been valued and cultivated as a medicinal herb since the 13th century. It is also invaluable however for providing attractive foliage in shadier spaces.

Not grown for its flowers - insignificant small, narrow, bell-shaped, greenish purple then brown flowers are barely visible in March and April.

Native to central Europe, Scandinavia, Russia and west Siberia and covers the woods just as ivy does in the UK. Fully hardy, resistant to all weathers and tough as old boots.

Asarum europaeum was once much grown for its purgative and emetic properties, by herbalists for use in a cure for snake bites, and also used as an ingredient in snuff.

Height and spread: 10cm x 30cm

Happy to be divided in spring and autumn to increase the size of the clump.

Common name(s): Wild Ginger; Asarabacca; Foalfoot; Foal's foot ; Hazelwort ; Wild nard.

Picture: Betty Cai [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

All our plants are supplied in at least 9x10cm pots. Plants in this size pot establish quickly in the garden and often outpace plants planted in bigger pots at the same time. We do not sell 'plug plants' because those need to be grown on before planting. Our potted plants can be planted immediately, unless otherwise noted, or you can leave them in their pots until you are ready to plant. We grow everything we sell ourselves, in our nursery in the Buckinghamshire countryside.