EUROPEAN WILD GINGER Asarum europaeum
Asarum europaeum, commonly known as asarabacca, European wild ginger, hazelwort, and wild spikenard, is native to large parts of temperate Europe, and also cultivated in gardens. It is a creeping evergreen perennial with glossy green, kidney shaped leaves and solitary purple flowers hidden by the leaves. It occurs mostly in deciduous woodland or coniferous forests, especially in calcareous (chalky) soils.
A. europaeum is quite shade-tolerant and is often employed as groundcover where little else will grow. This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.
Type: Hardy perennial
Hardiness zones: 4-7
Height: 10-15 cm, 4-6"
Location: Shade or part shade
Note: Many seeds and plants contain poisonous parts, this included. Please keep these seeds and plants in a safe place.
Germination: As with many perennial seeds, these seeds benefit from a period of moist cold to help them begin to grow. This is done by giving them a cold 'winter' period (natural or artificial), and then a warming to simulate 'spring', and time to grow! Here's how this can be done:
Obtain a planting container that has holes in the bottom for excess water to drain. Place the seeds just under the surface of your growing medium, and water. Place your container in a cold area (but not freezing, perhaps a refrigerator) for 4-6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container at room temperature for them to germinate. Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Seedlings will sprout a few weeks, or occasionally several months, after the warming period.
If you are planting your seeds in late winter or spring, these seeds can be planted outdoors while it is still cool out (once the ground is workable and unfrozen), to receive the cold period naturally in the garden.