Saturday, May 31, 2008

Wild Ginger

Trust me, for years you could pass wild ginger (Asarum canadense) without recognizing there’s a low-blooming, urn-shaped gem underneath each leaf. Ask me how I know. ;-) Some nurseries call the colour of the bloom "burgundy", but I'd call the bloom in the above and below photos a reddish brown. What about you?
Here you can see the side view of a blossom. Isn't the blossom fuzzy on the outside?
I took these photos in the York Regional Forest on the side of a hill in rich soil.

The leaves are velvety and shaped like a heart. If you see the plant when it’s not in flower, you can test to see if it’s wild ginger by digging with your finger into the soil and scratching the root to see of it smells like ginger.

Wild ginger is not related to culinary ginger, but early settlers to North America DID use wild ginger roots fresh (crushed), dried (powdered) and candied, and are also said to have made wild ginger tea to sooth sore throats


Diederick Wijmans said...

At the first glance it looks like two small birds crying out for food. Have a nice weekend!

dot said...

It's really weird looking but I'd call it more brown than anything.

Small City Scenes said...

Your information is very good and to the point. I have grown wild ginger before but not always successful. I'll just call it reddish, burgandy brown. That should cover it all. MB

Rose said...

I feel totally dumb--I have seen wild ginger all my life and do not remember ever noticing the bloom! I am glad you showed it to us!

Darla said...

That is a truly unusual looking blossom and doesn't look like it should be attached to anything I was going to eat or make tea with.
The leaves are pretty tho.


Anonymous said...

Honest, the top most photo in the set reminded me of a small monkey hanging on for dear life.

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East Gwillimbury is a rural town less than an hour north of Toronto, Canada's largest city. My family calls me CameraGirl because I take my camera with me wherever I go.