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Herbaceous Perennial

Asarum europaeum
  • RHS AGM

asarabacca

A creeping, evergreen perennial forming carpets of kidney-shaped, glossy, dark green leaves. The green, then purple, flowers are hidden under the foliage

Other common names
foalfoot
foal's foot
see morehazelwort
wild ginger
wild nard

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Size
Ultimate height
Up to 10cm
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green Purple Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Full shade
  • Partial shade
Aspect

North–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Aristolochiaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Matforming
Potentially harmful
TOXIC if eaten. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling. TOXIC to pets if eaten - see the HTA guide to potentially harmful plants for further information and useful contact numbers
Genus

Asarum are evergreen or deciduous, rhizomatous perennials forming a mat of long-stalked, heart-shaped or kidney-shaped leaves, sometimes with attractive silver mottling, and curious flowers consisteng of a 3-lobed calyx, often in "earthy" colours. They are commonly referred to as wild gingers (they are not culinary gingers) but are so-called because their rhizomes have a similar spicy scent

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Europe to Siberia

How to grow

Cultivation

Likes woodland conditions - a humus-rich, moist but well-drained, acid to neutral soil and full to partial shade

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in containers as soon as ripe, or divide in early spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Underplanting of roses and shrubs
  • Garden edging
  • Ground cover
Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

May be susceptible to slugs and snails

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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