Canadian wild ginger

(Asarum canadense)

Conservation Status
Canadian wild ginger
Photo by twCarlson
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland


FACU - Facultative upland

  Northcentral & Northeast

UPL - Obligate upland


Canadian wild ginger is a 2 to 12 tall, erect, perennial forb rising from shallow, horizontal rhizomes. It is usually found in colonies.

A short stem branches at the ground level into two thick, densely hairy, 2¼ to 8 long leaf stalks.

The leaves are basal, bright green, slightly hairy, and shiny on the upper surface. They are kidney-shaped to heart-shaped, deeply indented at the base, 1½ to 3 long and 3 to 5½ wide. The blade is irregularly curved, wavy, or crinkled, making it appear distinctly 3-dimensional.

A single ¾ to 1½ wide flower rises from the leaf axil on a densely-hairy, ½ to 1¼ flower stalk. It lies close to the ground and is often hidden by the leaves.

The sepals are reddish brown with a whitish center. They are fused for two-thirds of their length into a bell-shaped tube, which divides at the top into three lobes. The lobes are bent backward. Beyond their middle the lobes curve upwards and narrow gradually to the tip, with the margins rolled backward to the underside. The rolled tips are from a little less than ¼ to ¾ long.




2 to 12


Flower Color




Similar Species


Understory of deciduous forests. Partial sun or full shade.




April to June


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28, 29, 30.









  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Magnolianae  


Piperales (pepper plants, birthworts, and allies)  


Aristolochiaceae (birthworts)  
  Subfamily Asaroideae  


Asarum (wild gingers)  

Subordinate Taxa




Asarum acuminatum

Asarum ambiguum

Asarum canadense var. acuminatum

Asarum canadense var. ambiguum

Asarum canadense var. reflexum

Asarum furcatum

Asarum medium

Asarum parvifolium

Asarum reflexum

Asarum rubrocinctum


Common Names


American wild ginger

Canada snakeroot

Canadian wild ginger

Canadian wildginger


wild ginger

















A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

Visitor Photos

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Nancy Falkum

    Canadian wild ginger   Canadian wild ginger  

Trillium grandiflorum and ginger

    large-flowered trillium      



Although the forest floor is lined with wild ginger, I rarely get to see the bulb at the base.

    Canadian wild ginger      


    Canadian wild ginger      


    Canadian wild ginger   Canadian wild ginger  


    Canadian wild ginger   Canadian wild ginger  
    Canadian wild ginger   Canadian wild ginger  



  Asarum canadense
Butler Herbarium
  Asarum canadense  
  Asarum canadense (Canadian wild ginger)
Allen Chartier
  Asarum canadense (Canadian wild ginger)  



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Other Videos
  Canadian wild ginger (Asarum canadense)

Published on Apr 9, 2012

Canadian wild ginger (Asarum canadense)

  Canadian wild ginger Plant Identification

Published on May 22, 2014

Canadian wild ginger plant identification. Another cool wild edible with all kinds of reported uses from food to medicine. Wild ginger does carry some precautions on edibility so please do your own research before consuming anything, wild or otherwise.

Asarum caudatum and Asarum canadense are the botanical names of wild ginger, it is not truly ginger, but it sure smells like ginger.

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  Woodland Medicinal: Wild Ginger
Living the Hedge Witch Life

Uploaded on May 5, 2011

A plant of the woods, wild ginger can be used both as a wild edible and as a wild medicinal




Visitor Sightings

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  Nancy Falkum

Location: Whitewater WMA, Main Branch Unit

Canadian wild ginger  
  Nancy Falkum

Location: Bald Eagle Bluff SNA

Trillium grandiflorum and ginger

large-flowered trillium  

Location: Fairview Twp, Cass County

Although the forest floor is lined with wild ginger, I rarely get to see the bulb at the base.

Canadian wild ginger  

Afton State Park

Baker Park Reserve

Banning State Park

Big Woods Heritage Forest WMA

Blackhoof River WMA

Camden State Park

Carley State Park

Cannon River Turtle Preserve SNA

Cannon River Wilderness Area

Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center

Chamberlain Woods SNA

Charles A. Lindbergh State Park

Clear Lake SNA

Crow Wing State Park

Crystal Spring SNA

Dodge Nature Center

Edward Velishek Memorial WMA

Elm Creek Park Reserve

Falls Creek SNA

Flandrau State Park

Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Fort Ridgely State Park

Franconia Bluffs SNA

Frontenac State Park

Glendalough State Park

Great River Bluffs State Park

Greenwater Lake SNA

Hampton Woods WMA

Hardscrabble Woods / MG Tusler Sanctuary

Hastings SNA

Hayes Lake State Park

Hemlock Ravine SNA

Hyland Lake Park Reserve

Iron Springs Bog SNA

Itasca State Park

Itasca Wilderness Sanctuary SNA

Jay Cooke State Park

John A. Latsch State Park

King’s and Queen’s Bluff SNA

Lake Louise State Park

Lawrence Creek SNA

Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Lester Lake SNA

Lutsen SNA

Mary Schmidt Crawford Woods SNA

Miesville Ravine Park Reserve

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Mille Lacs WMA

Minnesota Valley NWR, Long Meadow Lake Unit

Minnesota Valley NWR, Louisville Swamp Unit

Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area, Lawrence Unit

Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve

Myhr Creek Ridge SNA

Myre-Big Island State Park

Nerstrand Big Woods State Park

Ney Nature Center

Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo

Partch Woods SNA

Pin Oak Prairie SNA

Prairie Creek Woods SNA

Rice Lake State Park

Ripley Esker SNA

Rushford Sand Barrens SNA

St. Croix State Park

Sakatah Lake State Park

Savage Fen SNA

Savanna Portage State Park

Scenic State Park

Seven Mile Creek County Park

Seven Springs WMA

Sibley State Park

Stanley Eddy Memorial Park Reserve

Townsend Woods SNA

Westwood Hills Nature Center

Whitewater State Park

Wild River State Park

Wolsfeld Woods SNA

Wood-Rill SNA

Zumbro Falls Woods SNA







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