Friday, December 05, 2008

Wild Ginger In Winter

Asarum arifolium, native to the SE United States, has more names than any small woodland clumper should have to deal with. For starters, the evergreen gingers (and this plant is evergreen even here), have all been moved to the genus hexastylis (I'm NOT making up new labels every time some taxonomist with too much time on their hands, starts moving the furniture around). Next, this native plant goes under a slew of common names: heartleaf, arrowleaf, little brown jugs, evergreen ginger, and Virginia evergreen ginger.
With its odd little brown flowers in spring, and its large, mottled arrowhead shaped leaves which are bluish-tinged in the winter, and evergreen under the snow, I just call it "neat".

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Asarum is one of my favorite Genera. I didn't realize that Hexastylis was stealing away most of its species! Asiatica Nursery has 70 varieties of Asarum!

Have any of your Asarums every bloomed?
Zach... I actually get some gingers from Asiatica (a lot of what they offer are Asians too tender for here). Almost all of my gingers (maybe twenty kinds) have bloomed; perhaps four are too small yet.
Again you make me envious with your gingers. We definitely have to get some planted around here. Do you have a favorite you'd recommend that does well in our capricious IA climate?
Well, hopefully this latest taxonomic go-round will be solid for a while. The big shuffle is due to the techology of genome identification catching up with the botanists.

So if the furniture continues to move after this, it will probably stay in the same 'house'... or we can dream so, anyway.
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