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Zones 3-6, 15-17, 28, 31-35, 39
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Asarum splendens

Aristolochiaceae
Evergreen, Ground covers, Perennials

ASARUM

American and European species are handsome evergreen groundcovers, forming a lush, lustrous carpet of heart-shaped leaves. The small, three-cornered, typically brownish red, attractive spring flowers are bell shaped, with three tapering “tails.” Roots and leaves of wild gingers have a scent somewhat like that of culinary ginger, but are not used as seasoning. These will grow in average soil, but spread faster, and are more luxuriant in rich, humusy soil. Start from divisions or container-grown plants; set about a foot apart. Watch for slugs and snails.

Asarum splendens

Native to China. Evergreen leaves are dark green, heavily mottled with silver, and heart-shaped with an elongated tip; may reach 7 in. long and 3 in. wide. Large (2-in.-wide), dark purple flowers. Grows vigorously in rich, loose soil, forming large colonies. Bait for snails and slugs.

‘Quicksilver’

From China. This semievergreen groundcover grows 6–12 in. tall with big, 7-in., heart-shaped leaves ornately variegated with silver. Two-in. flowers appear beneath the leaves in late spring. Forms large colonies.

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