UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA

Water Wise Plants

Asarum caudatum

Pronunciation
ah-SAR-um kaw-DAH-tum
Common Name
Wild Ginger
Plant Type
Groundcover
Mature Size
7-10 inches high and spreading
Water Requirements
Low: water every three weeks until the root ball is wet
Sun/Shade Requirements
Shade
Flower Color
Maroon, generally hidden by leaves
Wildlife
Maintenance- Design- Planting Tips

This California native boasts large, shiny, heart-shaped leaves that give the plant a lush, almost tropical look. We think the leaves, which can be two to four inches long and up to seven inches wide, are really lovely. They tend to hide the interesting maroon flowers that bloom in late winter or early spring.

Asarum caudatum grows naturally in the coastal redwood forests and prefers a cool, moist environment. In Santa Clara County gardens with their coastal influences, wild ginger can do well on a low water diet if given a nice shady spot and rich soil full of organic material.

In our Palo Alto Water Wise Garden, ginger disappears when it is unhappy (in the dry summer months) and reappears when the conditions are more to its liking (after the winter rains). It may need more irrigation to keep it from going dormant during the summer months.

This plant is extremely low maintenance. All it seems to need is the occasional removal of old leaves.

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